Rose Tint My World
I don’t remember the first time I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show at a midnight screening, but I sure remember the last time. It was close to the end of the 1990s. The radio station I worked at in Key West – WOZN (The Ozone, baby! Short lived, long lamented) rented the dock at the Ocean Key House at the end of Duval Street, somehow got our acts together long enough to put up a drive in movie screen, and invited the whole town. We all did the Time Warp under warm, tropical skies.
By that time I was already closer to 30 than 20, and I knew that going to midnight movies was something I was leaving behind. (The screening we did began at 9pm, which is how we got anyone with a job to show up.) But what a thrill to spend those weekend nights in a darkened theater full of like minded weirdos! We were all just so utterly sophisticated, so jaded, so unshockable (so, mostly virgins? Oh yeah.)
A couple of years ago, I saw the original movie on someone’s VHS, or maybe on cable. Guess what? Its WAY not more fun without an audience. I will love Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon forever, (oh, alright, AND Meatloaf) but I never felt the need to see that film again.
This past weekend, my friends and I went to see the live stage production of The Rocky Horror Show (its original stage name) at the Studio Theater here in DC. It was enthusiastic, energetic, and loads of fun. I did notice some things that sailed on by when I was showing up at the midnight screening at The Uniondale Mini Cinema on Long Island. I don’t want to dive into the rape culture conversation which continues (and rightly so) on so many websites, but the story just seemed a lot more rapey than I remember. (Can you imagine Frank contemplating consent?) I guess one looks for different things at 15 than at 50. God, I hope so! (I also always forget what a SUPER BUMMER the ending is!) While I thoroughly enjoyed the high energy performances, I kept looking at the high, high heels and heavy makeup on the entire cast and thinking, man, that must be uncomfortable. Priorities. I’ll now take a moment to mention that the movie came out in 1975 – almost 40 years ago!
As we walked back to our respective houses, the gang agreed that we were the epitome of cool because we were out and about after 11pm. Then we went home and watched some TV.
Anyway, a toast! To all us baby libertines who went out every Saturday night armed with rice, newspaper, and waterguns. And some high heels!