UPDATE: The Friday Nite Specials cast has added a second Rutgers show on November 1st. Click here for more information.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—It’s been forty years since “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” debuted in 1975, and New Brunswick‘s fanatics and casaul followers alike are ready to celebrate.
When the movie was first released, it was considered a failure, performing poorly at the box office.
A young advertising executive at 20th Century Fox, Tim Deegan, persuaded the Waverly Theater in Greenwich Village to replace its midnight movie with Rocky Horror.
It took off and developed one of the biggest cult followings in the world. Still in limited release after four decades, Rocky has the longest-running theatrical release of all time.
The city’s historic State Theatre hosted a screening on October 9, continuing an annual tradition. They gave away prop goodie bags, and had an open-to-the-public party for two hours preceding the movie.
Furthermore, the AMC Loews Theater in New Brunswick has a showing at 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday of October.
The Friday Nite Specials cast, who do a weekly live performance alongside the movie at the Strathmore Art Cinema in Aberdeen, are bringing their show to Rutgers University on October 25.
The energy is “better than I have at my regular show,” says Ryan Wilson, producer and cast member. “It’s been great. [The students] love it.”
This is their third Halloween that the Specials are bringing Rocky Horror to Rutgers, and they predict the show will sell out soon.
The show will be on October 25 at 10 p.m. at the Rutgers Cinema on the Livingston campus in Piscataway. Tickets are available at the Rutgers Cinemas website.
The night will include costume contests, “devirginizations” (a special ritual for first-time attendees), a sketch comedy show, and a dance party.
New Brunswick has a special history with Rocky Horror.
The Art Cinema was one of the first theaters in the country to embrace the trend when it started spreading from The Waverly Theatre. The Art Cinema ultimately was demolished to make way for a parking garage that has since been closed.
What has made this movie such an enduring part of pop culture?
According to Wilson, “It’s the fans that have made it go this far. No other movie has a fan base quite like Rocky’s… It’s freedom. It’s expression. You can be who you want to be at Rocky Horror.”