Virginia Theatre screens cult classic ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’

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Bekah Douglas

People enter the Virginia Theatre for a special showing of the ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ on Thursday.

By Marilyn MacLaren, Assistant Buzz Editor

On Thursday, the Virginia Theatre hosted a special screening as part of their 92.5 Rewind series of the cult classic musical “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The film centers on a young couple, Brad and Janet, played by Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon respectively, who happen across a mysterious castle after their car gets a flat tire. There they are seduced by the great Dr. Frank N. Furter, played by Tim Curry, and witness to his glorious creation Rocky. 

The screening officially started at 7 p.m., with the doors opening at 6 p.m. for fans to come and enjoy special activities before the show. The first 100 guests were given goodie bags containing items related to specific scenes that could be used during the showing of film, such as noisemakers and party hats like the ones the characters use to commemorate Rocky’s birthday. 

Guests were also encouraged to participate in a trivia contest as well as to come in costume and honor their favorite characters. Guests who had dressed up for the event were automatically entered into a costume contest, with the top three winners receiving various prizes and vouchers for future screenings at the Virginia Theatre.

Alongside seasoned fans were many newcomers as well, including Violet Turnbo, who was seeing the film for the first time with her sister Jasmine Turnbo. Violet, along with other guests who were viewing the film for the first time, were marked by those in costume as “Virgins,” with a red V drawn on their foreheads. 

“It was definitely something I believed she should see,” Jasmine Turnbo said, when explaining the experience of viewing the film in such an immersive atmosphere. 

She also mentioned that this was the perfect timing for the event, with Halloween right around the corner.

 “It sounded like a fun event, great for spooky season, so we’re here ready to have a good time,” Turnbo said.

The atmosphere of viewing the film through a theater setting, especially for the first time, is unlike anything the average moviegoer has experienced. Here guests are encouraged to interact with the screen and characters, yelling jokes and hurling insults to the delight of connecting with the film. Many sequences were pantomimed by those in the audience, with fans holding up their phones and flashlights to illuminate the theater when Janet sings “There’s A Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place)” as her and Brad approach the castle. Some even sported the same newspaper Janet holds over her head in the scene where she shields herself from the rain. When the musical sequence for “Time Warp” began, everyone in the audience stood and danced along with the actors, singing as if they were in the film itself. 

Among those attending were Jana and Thomas Uebele, both dressed to the nines, referencing Magenta and Riff Raff respectively, and they said that they were absolutely thrilled to be seeing the film in a theater for the second time. The couple had originally met as rebellious Nashville teens attending a Rocky Horror screening in Chicago in 1989 and have been together ever since. 

“The audience participation was incredible,” Jana Uebele said, recalling how it felt to be a part of an audience that had such a physical and emotional connection to what was happening on screen. 

“The immersiveness was my favorite part. It was like Movies 3.0.” 

For more information about the Virginia Theatre, go to https://thevirginia.org/ to learn more about future special events.

 

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