20th Century Fox

You might be a virgin and not even know it. 


Aside from that term's more traditional meaning, "virgin" is common parlance among fans to describe those yet to experience The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a saucy, tongue-in-cheek pastiche in the style of so-bad-its-good science fiction and horror movies. Originally a stage production, the musical was adapted into a grainy-yet-glittering movie starring Tim Curry as the titular, gender-bending Dr. Frank-N-Furter, supported by Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick and Dallas' own Marvin Lee Aday, better known as Meat Loaf.  

The film version first ran -- and bombed -- in 1975, but despite initial failure, it soon found a nocturnal niche in midnight screenings, developing not only a cult following of devotees, but also a secondary life through fan participation. What does that even mean?

You get to yell and throw stuff at the screen.

Not just anything, though. Fans have developed a canon of responses to characters' lines, as well as particular props required to fully enjoy the campy vulgarity. As you might have gleaned from the "virgin" phenomenon, this musical is not for kids. 

But, say you're into garter belts and raunchy melodies. Here's what to say, do, wear and where to see Rocky Horror in North Texas this Halloween season and beyond. 


Laverne Cox stars in FOX's live special Thursday. 

Laverne Cox stars in FOX's live special Thursday. 

Steve Wilkie/FOX

Watch at home on FOX:  Rocky Horror purists will claim that it really should be experienced in-person, at a midnight screening, but for those unable to make it out this year or anyone feeling a bit shy about their "virginity" -- not that there's anything wrong with it... -- FOX has continued the current trend of  airing revamped live musicals. Smart move: Its Grease: Live attracted 12.2 million viewers in January. 

The network's two hour special, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again, airs Thursday, Oct. 20, beginning at 7 p.m. CST. It stars Laverne Cox, Christian Milian and Adam Lambert, with an appearance by Tim Curry as the Criminologist Narrator

Props provided at Alamo Drafthouse Richardson: Say you're up for going out, but midnight is still a little past your bedtime, then Alamo Drafthouse Richardson's Rocky Horror party might be more up your alley. Beginning at 11:05 p.m. on Oct. 21, the event features free props and subtitles for songs and the best "callbacks" (that's the sassy, unscripted stuff fans yell at the screen), to help guide along those less versed in the Rocky Horror universe. Tickets are $12. 

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie Party

See it with a shadowcast in Dallas and Fort Worth): Know how when you're trying to peacefully enjoy The Big Lebowski for the fifty-seventh time and your drunk friend pantomimes the whole movie in front of the screen? A shadowcast is like that, but not annoying.   

Local troupe Los Bastardos enacts the show in costume and makeup in Lake Worth at Texas Movie Bistro on Oct. 22 and 31 and in Dallas at the Inwood Theatre on Oct. 28 and 29. They'll lead the way for those needing a refresher or seeing the first time on the big screen. Showtimes and ticket prices vary. More info Lake Worth and Dallas. More about the Los Bastardos rules and pre-show, which takes place about 30 minutes before screenings. 

Two late-night opportunities at Angelika Dallas: While Rocky Horror screenings tend to be popular around Halloween, it's not holiday specific. Catch it at the Angelika in Mockingbird Station at midnight on Nov. 11 or Dec. 9. Tickets are $10. 


Some spots like Alamo Drafthouse provide everything you will need. In other cases, it's not cool to trash a theater without explicit permission. For Los Bastardos shows, the group asks that you do not bring water guns or toss small, hard to clean up pieces of confetti or paper. Other rules may apply on a theater-by-theater basis, so it's always a good idea to call ahead. If you're screening at home or watching the live FOX version, you'll need: rice, newspapers, water pistols, flashlights, rubber gloves, noisemakers, confetti, toilet paper, toast, party hats, bells, playing cards, hot dogs and prunes... or any, slightly less-messy combination of the above. 

Why in hell do I need toilet paper and prunes, you may ask? Here's a nifty props guide from TRHPS Official Fan Site. 


These are a bit harder to explain unless you're there, in the moment. To complicate matters, these extraneous lines an audience shouts at the screen continue to change and evolve to this day. Here's a meticulous guide. Note that many callback lines are NSFW (or anywhere, really). Our best advice if you're a first-timer: Just sit back and learn from the pros. 

Transylvanian attire 

Part of what makes The Rocky Horror Picture Show so beloved is that early midnight screenings offered a safe-haven for people to meet like-minded individuals with a wicked sense of humor. Even if you don't go with a full-on character costume re-creation, some general ideas you can grab pretty quickly at thrift or discount stores include: 

 Dr. Frank-N-Furter: corset, heels, garter belt, stockings, pearls and red lipstick OR scrubs and rubber gloves
Riff Raff: ill-fitting black suit with a white shirt held together with a safety pin, fingerless black gloves 
Magenta: French maid costume and frizzy red wig
Eddie: leather jacket, jeans and biker boots
Brad: sweater vest, pull over and glasses; it's a pretty general '50s square look
Janet: cardigan and vintage pink dress OR corset, fishnet tights and feather boa
Rocky Horror: platinum blonde wig, gold Speedo-style skivvies and gold wrestler boots

Do the Time Warp (again)

Even if you're at a showing with a fairly tame crowd, chances are high that people will spill into the aisles to dance to the song "The Time Warp." It's easy, silly, awkward and vulgar, and you can do it without much practice. Via TRHPS Official Fan Site:

Jump to the LEFT with hands UP
Step to the RIGHT
Hands on HIPS bring KNEES IN tight
Do the Time Warp AGAIN

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