For the fourth year in a row, the historic Palace Theater on Haili Street in downtown Hilo will present “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at 9 p.m. on Halloween night, Thursday, Oct. 31. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Campy fun and a costume contest are on tap, along with “Participation Kits” and specials in the cafe. The costume contest begins at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are only $10 if you come in costume. Otherwise they will be $12.
Again this year, Yisa Var, performer and radio deejay from The Wave will emcee the event.
“I have as much fun as anyone. I love seeing all the costumed participants and I get to dress up myself. What a great night out for adults on Halloween. I look forward to this event at the Palace Theater every Halloween and am so happy to be the emcee again this year,” said Var.
Inspite of a barely consistent plot line, Rocky Horror is a perennial favorite. According to the IMDb website: “It’s the weird and wonderful as newly engaged couple Brad and Janet encounter a problem when their car halts in the rain. They both look for contact only to find themselves at the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite. A place to stay is offered, but will Brad and Janet want to remain there? Especially when a large group of Transylvanians dance to the ‘Time Warp’ and Dr. Frank-N-Furter builds his own man?”
“A hilarious part of the show is the ‘Audience Participation’ at key moments in the film,” said Morgen Bahurinsky, director of operations at the Palace Theater. “The Palace will again have ready-made participation kits available, complete with instructions. Kits sell for $5 and add a lot to the fun. Watch out for Rocky fans to jump up and do the ‘Time Warp Dance’ and other zany actions,” said Bahurinsky.
According to the late film critic Roger Ebert, ” ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ is not so much a movie as more of a long-running social phenomenon. When the film was first released in 1975, it was ignored by pretty much everyone, including the future fanatics who would eventually count the hundreds of times they’d seen it. ‘Rocky Horror’ opened, closed, and would have been forgotten had it not been for the inspiration of a low-level 20th Century-Fox executive who talked his superiors into testing it as a midnight cult movie.
“The rest is history. At its peak in the early 1980s, ‘Rocky Horror’ was playing on weekend midnights all over the world, and loyal fans were lined up for hours in advance out in front of the theater, dressed in the costumes of the major characters.
“There were jolly reunions of Janets and Brads, the All-American couple played in the movie by Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick, conspiratorial knots of Dr. Frank N. Furters, the mad transvestite scientist played by Tim Curry, and clumps of Riff Raffs — he was the hunchback butler played by Richard O’Brien, who also wrote the songs.
“Inside the theater, the fans put on a better show than anything on the screen. They knew the film by heart, chanted all of the lines in unison, sang along with the songs, did dances by their seats, added their own unprintable additions to the screenplay, and went through a lot of props like toilet paper and party hats.
“They also formed a sort of weird extended family. They met every week, exchanged ritual greetings, celebrated each other’s birthdays and other major holidays, and even dated and married and gave birth to a new generation of ‘Rocky Horror’ cultists. It was a strange exhibitor-audience relationship, because the regulars were essentially buying tickets so they could attend their own show,” observed Ebert.
For more information, call the Palace at 934-7010.