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‘Rocky Horror’ screenings are an absolute pleasure

3 area venues set to screen cult classic ahead of Halloween

You'll have three opportunities to catch "Rocky Horror Picture Show" in our area.

Published October 12, 2022

It’s time to do the time warp … again.

A staple of the Halloween season, the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show is resurrected across the country this time of year, and northeast Indiana is no different. The 1975 musical starring Susan Sarandon and the lingerie-wearing Tim Curry has already been shown at Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, but will also be at Eckhart Public Library in Auburn on Friday, Oct. 21, and Eagles Theatre in Wabash on Friday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Oct. 29.

“It’s so iconic, the actors, the characters, the costumes, the storyline, and of course, the songs,” said Phil Meek, director of movie operations for Honeywell Arts and Entertainment. “We’ve heard from younger adults who weren’t even born yet in the ’70s who know the movie and are just as excited as those who remember when the phenomenon began. We anticipate a wide range of ages in the audience.”

After showing the film in 2018, Eckhart was impressed with the outcome.

“When going to any showing of Rocky Horror, you will feel a sense of expectation and camaraderie amongst your fellow audience members,” Tiegan Blasch said in an email response from the library.

‘Raucous environment’

Rocky Horror follows the tale of the newly engaged couple Janet and Brad, who stumble upon Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s castle after getting a flat tire during a thunderstorm in the Ohio countryside. Instead of getting to use a phone to call for help, the couple encounter the “Sweet Transvestite” Frank-N-Furter and his servants and guests from the planet Transsexual from the Transylvania galaxy.

Filled with memorable songs and quotes, the movie has developed a cult following, and late-night screenings often include props, costumes, and sing-alongs.

“We’re expecting (and hoping for) a pretty raucous environment,” Meek said in an email response. ”We encourage people to dress in costume and come early to take advantage of the bar. Prop bags are for sale now online for audience members who want to participate in the fun. If we don’t sell out of props in advance, we’ll have them available that night as well. It’s one of the rare times we’re actually looking forward to cleaning up a mess after a movie! 

“Eagles has two private suites that offer private seating, food, and beverage service for up to 14 guests. The suites are sold out for Friday, but still available for Saturday.”

The $10 prop bags will have rice, newspaper, noisemakers, toilet paper, party hats, bread, and playing cards, which come in handy during the movie, as the audience incorporates each into the show, such as the throwing of rice during the opening wedding scene.

Dressing the part

Though props were distributed at the Conservatory, where the movie will be shown for a 14th time, Amanda Amstutz of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department said costumes were encouraged

“People definitely get into it,” she said. “They dress as their favorite character, so you can imagine the types of things that we see.”

The Conservatory screening began at 9:15 p.m., with Amstutz saying fans begin lining up ahead of the doors opening at 7 p.m..

“We wanted to attract a different kind of audience than what we typically get,” Amstutz said of the venue’s intentions for showing the movie.

Leave the kids at home

The Conservatory has become accustomed to the environment, but it will be something new in Wabash.

“It’s the first time showing this at Eagles Theatre,” Meek said. “The historic, recently-renovated theater has a unique atmosphere that provides a great backdrop for an event like this. Due to popular demand, we just added a second Rocky Horror showing on Saturday night in addition to the original Friday date. It’s a great addition to our Halloween movie offerings.”

It will indeed be an experience, but one that will be for adults or accompanied youths.

“Following normal movie guidelines, anyone under 17 must be accompanied by an adults,” Meek said of the R-rated film. “We hope guests are responsible and leave younger children at home.”

But for those in attendance, don’t expect those around you to sit quietly so you can enjoy the movie in peace.

“People will follow along with scripts that can be found online, as far as what to say at a certain point or during a certain scene or song: what to say, what to throw,” Amstutz said. “It’s super participatory, super fun, and people just love it.”

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