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May 19, 2016

I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I’ve seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show on the big screen. It’s a lot.

DAVE THOMPSON podcast excerpt: "I first saw 'Rocky Horror' at a theatre in Chelsea when I was 13. It stuck with me ever since and its always been on my mind that I would love to tell the whole story and see where it goes. Finally, I did"

That’s because, in college, I worked at the Royal Park Cinemas 4 in Gainesville, Florida, and every Friday and Saturday night, it was all hands on deck come 11 p.m. as hundreds of cosplayers – not that we called them that in 1979 – lined up for admission to the greatest midnight show in town, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

I was the guy at the door tearing tickets – and, occasionally, the projectionist, concessionist or ticket seller – seeing it all. Honestly, my young mind wasn’t ready for it then and I’m not sure I can wrap my adult brain around it any better now, in 2016. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was an abject failure in its original theatrical release, but one that found a second life by literally creating a midnight circuit around the globe. It spawned multi-generational fans who dress up as their favorite characters, shout obscenities at the screen, act out the musical numbers, know every word by heart, and, occasionally, get drunk and screw right there in the theater. (We minimum-wage employees found the empty liquor bottles and used condoms—always in close proximity—on the floor afterward to prove it.)

DAVE THOMPSON podcast excerpt: "What this book brings to the table is an appreciation of the cultural impact of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show,' not only in the US but elsewhere."

Key interview moments:

• 3:45 Author Dave Thompson explains what motivated him to tell the entire story of The Rocky Horror Picture Show; • 16:30 Rocky Horror's lasting impact goes far beyond British or US borders; • 32:40 Thompson reveals that, as teens, he and his girlfriend "went through a Magenta and Riff-Raff stage."

Dave Thompson WebsiteFacebookGoodreads • Wikipedia