How to Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show opened in U.S. theatres in September 1975. It was far from successful. But if there was one thing that was noticed at many screenings, it was that the same faces kept coming out again and again to see the quirky musical whose signature movie poster with the deep red set of lips was euphemistically billed as “the other set of jaws”.

It didn’t take theatre owners long to smell opportunity. By April 1976, theatres began showing midnight screenings of RHPS, and by 1979, as many as 20 cinemas in the New York City area were running it on a regular basis. The record holder though is The Oriental in Milwaukee, which began running Rocky Horror on midnight Saturdays in January 1978 and continues showing to this day on every second Saturday of the month (alternating it with other cult classics, like this week’s showing of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room).

Well, now it’s The Synnema’s turn. On Saturday March 6th at 9 pm, The Synnema at 121 Wyndham St, Suite #106 in Downtown Guelph will be hosting a very special screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show complete with the requisite costume contest and the full interactive movie experience. Now, every interactive screening is different according to the rules of the venue, but here, courtesy of the official Rocky Horror fansite, is a list of popular props and cues that tell you when to use them.

  • Rice: At the beginning of the film is the wedding of Ralph Hapschatt and Betty Munroe. As the newlyweds exit the church, you should throw the rice along with the on-screen wedding guests.
  • Newspapers: When Brad and Janet are caught in the storm, Janet covers her head with a newspaper The “Plain Dealer”. At this point, you should likewise cover your head.
  • Water pistols: These are used by members of the audience to simulate the rainstorm that Brad and Janet are caught in. (Now do you see why you should use the newspapers?)
  • Toast: When Frank proposes a toast at dinner, members of the audience throw toast into the air (preferably unbuttered… things could get sticky).
  • Candles, flashlights: During the “There’s a light” verse of “Over at the Frankenstein Place, “you should light up the theater with candles, flashlights, lighters, etc. (Be careful to respect the theater’s policy about open flames – remember you are wearing newspapers on your head!)
  • Rubber gloves: During and after the creation speech, Frank snaps his rubber gloves three times. Later, Magenta pulls these gloves off his hands. You should snap your gloves in sync each time to create a fantastic sound effect.
  • Noisemakers: At the end of the creation speech, the Transylvanians respond with applause and noisemakers. You should do the same.
  • Confetti: At the end of the “Charles Atlas Song” reprise, the Transylvanians throw confetti as Rocky and Frank head toward the bedroom. You should do the same.
  • Toilet paper: When Dr. Scott enters the lab, Brad cries out “Great Scott!” At this point, you should hurl rolls of toilet paper into the air (preferably Scotts).
  • Party hat: At the dinner table, when Frank puts on a party hat, you should do the same.
  • Bell: During the song “Planet Schmanet Janet,” ring the bell when Frank sings “Did you hear a bell ring?”
  • Cards: During the song “I’m Going Home,” Frank sings “Cards for sorrow, cards for pain”. At this point you should shower the theater with cards.
  • Hot dogs and prunes: It has happened on occasion, that fans will throw hot dogs and prunes at their appropriate mention in the film. This should not be encouraged because it attracts rodents and leaves stains on the screen.