The Egyptian Theatre will get into the Halloween spirit with two screenings of the cult classic "Rocky Horror Picture Show" this weekend.
The Egyptian Theatre will get into the Halloween spirit with two screenings of the cult classic "Rocky Horror Picture Show" this weekend. (Courtesy of the Egyptian Theatre)
Back in 1975, glam rock and the fascination of schlocky horror B-films were all the rage. One irreverent endeavor called the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" smashed those genres together into one loud and messy package.

The film, based on a musical, with lyrics by Richard O'Brien, was directed by Jim Sharman and helped launch the careers of actors Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick and future Academy Award-winner Susan Sarandon.

Bostwick and Sarandon play a betrothed couple who find themselves at the castle of the evil Dr. Frank-n-furter, played by Curry.

Although it flopped the year it opened, it gained a rabid cult status and, through various midnight and primetime screenings, become the longest running theatrical release in film history, according to 20th Century Fox.

The big draw is the trademark audience interaction, where people will get up and dance to the music, especially in a segment called "The Time Warp," shout at the screen and utilize handfuls of props.

Park City will get a chance to experience "Rocky Horror Picture Show" during two screenings at the Egyptian Theatre on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19.

Randy Barton, manager of the Egyptian Theatre, said the theater doesn't usually screen films unless they are part of the Sundance Film Festival, but decided to take on "Rock Horror" because of the theatrical element.

"We have no desire to get into the business of screening films, because we also think the Park City Film Series does a great job at that, but 'Rocky Horror' is more than just a film," Barton told The Park Record.


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"At the Egyptian Theatre, we do things that are theatrical and engaging, and since 'Rocky Horror' is an interactive experience we're very happy to host it."

Barton encourages people to dress up and get up on Egyptian's stage to act out the scenes and dance to "The Time Warp" and use a variety of props to enhance the screening.

Some of the props the Egyptian encourages people to bring for the interaction, include bubbles for the wedding scene, newspapers for the rain scene, flashlights for the "There's a Light" segment, rubber gloves, noisemakers, toilet paper, burnt toast, party hats, cards and a bell.

"However, they shouldn't expect to throw a lot of water and rice around the theater," Barton said. "We're going to hand out the less-destructive props to those that don't have props when they arrive. And we won't be screening the film at midnight. We'll just show the 8 p.m. screenings."

Barton first experienced the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" during the 1980s.

"A good friend of mine named Art Proctor owned the Blue Mouse Theater in Salt Lake City," he said. "It was an underground art-house theater downtown and it screened 'Rocky Horror' every weekend at midnight."

At the time, Barton worked in offices above the theater and would attend screenings on a regular basis.

"I never wanted to dress up and take in some props, but I enjoyed the extravaganza," he said. "It had a cement basement, so Art didn't care about what kind of mess the audience made."

Barton liked the music and the theatrics of the film.

"I thought it was campy, fun, engaging, wild and unusual," he said. "My favorite characters are the innocent kids who go bad."

Jenn Silva, who runs video and projected images at the Egyptian Theatre, has known about "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" since she was a little girl.

"My mom used to go to the midnight showings and I grew up hearing about it," Silva said. "I remember doing 'The Time Warp' and things like that every Halloween."

So to screen the film at the Egyptian is a major milestone for her.

"I mean, I get to put the movie on where I work," Silva said. "That's huge for me. Hopefully, this will become a tradition, if it goes off well."

Silva's favorite character is Magenta, played by Patricia Quinn, and her partner Riff Raff, played by Richard O'Brien, who are in cahoots with Dr. Frank-n-furter.

"I'm always amazed that the guy who plays Riff Raff wrote and created this whole amazing world," Silva said. "I think it's so creative and he jumped the boundaries of film. I mean, everyone in the show was fearless when they did it, because it's so out there."

Silva likes the songs, "The Time Warp" and "There's a Light."

"My favorite segment is when Dr. Frank-n-furter first comes out," she said. "His whole intro is just ridiculous."

She also likes the scene when Meat Loaf shows up as one of Frank-n-furter's creations.

"When I was little, I liked the scene where Dr. Frank-n-furter chased him around and kills him," Silva said.

The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., will present the cult-classic "Rocky Horror Picture Show" on Friday, Oct. 18, and Saturday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. The film is rated R. True to traditional form, the screening will encourage audience participation. Tickets are $10 and $12. For more information and for a list of suggested props to bring to the screening, visit www.parkcityshows.com.