Rocky Horror Picture Show: A guide for virgins

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Mars Nevada
Digital Imagery Specialist

Graphic by Mars Nevada

There are hundreds of “guides for virgins” out there when it comes to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” “Virgins” are what fans of the cult classic film “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” call people who have never been to a screening of the film complete with audience participation (and often a live cast shadow-acting beside it). According to RockyHorror.com, “the official fansite” for the film, audiences started “participating” (read: yelling at the screen and throwing stuff) in 1975 when the film first started running and bombing. Today, groups of fans across the country put on screenings of the film. People dress up in costume, bring props, (often to chuck at the screen), yell out lines and snark at certain points in the film.

So, what should you expect when popping your Rocky Horror cherry? First, it’s helpful to download the script, but not the Rocky Horror script, rather the script of call-out lines that people usually yell at the screen. That’s right—don’t expect silence in this movie theater. There isn’t one particular script, as there are many traditions and groups that put the screenings on. You should be forewarned, some of the call-outs are fairly offensive in some traditions. You should feel free to not participate or else swap out a line for one of your own. Half the fun is in improvising and making up new call-outs.

Second, dress up for the show. Rocky Horror screenings are a great time to let your inner freak flag fly. It’s not required, but some people go all out, and it’s nice to be able to put on a show of your own. Third, some people bring their own props, but you should check with the group and theater putting the screening on. Some theaters have rules about which props you can and cannot bring, and some offer prop kits of their own.

If you’re a “virgin,” (seeing the film at home doesn’t count), be prepared for the “virgin sacrifice.” The Rocky Horror community is often like a family, and newcomers are welcomed with open arms and some (usually) harmless fun. If you’re a virgin, you might be picked to participate in a pre-show ritual. I’ve seen “popping cherries,” which consisted of blowing up and popping red balloons. I’ve also seen a fake orgasm contest. The ritual really varies by group.

So, if you’re still in, here’s some Rocky Horror experiences happening around Omaha:

• “The Rocky Horror Show” from the Omaha Community Playhouse: A musical version of Rocky Horror from Oct. 4 through Nov. 10. Don’t worry, audience participation and costumes are still encouraged.

• Rocky Horror at the Castle: Looking for a more luxe Rocky Horror experience? The Joslyn Castle promises an interactive Rocky Horror experience complete with cocktails, trivia, carnival games and more on Oct. 11.

• Infusion Brewing Co. Rocky Horror themed BINGO: If you like your experiences a little boozy, Infusion Brewing Co. will be showing the movie, playing Rocky Horror-themed BINGO, holding a costume contest and offering Rocky Horror shots and beer specials on Oct. 13.

• “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: Alamo is known for their all-out movie experiences and their Rocky Horror screenings are no different. The party at the Midtown location takes place Oct. 21 and the La Vista location’s party is on Oct. 22.

• “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at FLIXX Lounge: Rocky Horror is nothing if not campy and sexy. Lean into those vibes at FLIXX’s annual viewing party and costume contest, Oct. 25.

• Midnight Movies, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”: For a really classic experience, the Filmstreams Dundee Theater is putting on a midnight screening of Rocky Horror, Oct. 31.

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