"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" didn't invent midnight screenings but… More "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" didn't invent midnight screenings but instead turned a off Broadway musical into art form that became a phenomenon within itself. Originally it opened in nation release on September 26, 1975 with an advertisement that had the iconic poster of a lipsticked mouth with the tagline "A Different Set of Jaws"-which was a reference to Steven Spielburg's "Jaws" which went on to become the top grossing picture of 1975. Getting back to "Rocky Horror" studio executives at 20th Century-Fox knew that they had an unusual film on their hands which would require a different approach to marketing since 20th Century-Fox had major boxoffice hits including 1974's "Young Frankenstein" that was directed by Mel Brooks. Before the film's U.S. premiere in Los Angeles, Fox hired a promotion company to distribute flyers to people in line to see other films as well as concerts, clubs,and beaches and other spots of interest. The company that Fox promoted handed out more than 100,000 flyers in the eight weeks before the film opened in larger cities and later on nationwide. The premise worked in some areas and in other didn't. During it's original release "Rocky Horror" became a boxoffice disaster and it wasn't until 1976 when the Waverly Theater in New York City began showing the film as part of it's midnight screenings and from there it caught on to other cities as part of its Friday and Saturday night late shows bringing in massive crowds. From there the midnight showings expanded into more cities by the end of 1980 where it played at more than 200 theaters nationwide and to this day it is the longest running midnight screening of a film that not only has audience participation but bringing in massive crowds every weekend to see it. The long-running continuation of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" was soon followed by other midnight screenings of "Pink Flamingos", "Fritz The Cat", "Blazing Saddles","Night of the Living Dead", "Harold and Maude", "King of Hearts", "El Topo",not to mention the 1936 movie "Reefer Madness" just to name a few. But "Rocky Horror" added another level of enjoyment to these midnight screenings since some theaters gave discounted admission to anyone dressed up in character costumes where there would be singing along and vocally interacting with the one screen action(among the items frequently brought to throw at the screen were toast, newspapers, confetti,rice, toliet paper,and a deck of cards)which continues to this day....40th years after its original release. "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" even though it was a low-budget produced (by Lou Adler),cult classic made huge stars of two unknown actors Barry Bostwick and future Oscar winning actress Susan Sarandon and made British sensation Tim Curry into a cult phenomenon beyond expectations. Even for its time 1975 was controversial but still remains a bonafide classic especially when we want to go through the time warp again.
2 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes