Our youthful Halloweens were all constituted of innocent nights of trick-or-treating, filling pillowcases with assortments of candy and disguising ourselves in juvenile costumes.

But as we come of age and sadly part from our nostalgic traditions, we must replace our unearthly festivities with new ones.

Looking for a frightful night full of live theater, cinema and fun? Catch a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show — it’ll surely satisfy your spooky appetite this October. 

The 1975 film bombed box offices at its initial premiere, but 43 years later, it lives on as a thriving cult classic as fans flock to theaters across the country to catch midnight showings. 

For those who aren’t familiar, prepare yourselves for a series of screaming callbacks, dancing, murder, red lipstick, corsets and fishnets. Here’s what you need to know if you’re a Rocky virgin: 

Virgin status

At your very first showing of Rocky Horror, if a strangely dressed individual approaches you and asks if you’re a virgin, don’t panic. 

Apart from the standard definition of virgin, a Rocky Horror virgin is one who has never experienced the show in theater with an audience and live shadow cast. Seeing the movie at home or on TV do not count.  

If you want to make your virginity blatantly obvious, draw a scarlet “V” on your forehead with red lipstick. During the first minutes of the show, you’ll be selected for a virgin sacrifice, or initiation. They’ve been a rite of passage for the past few decades. Your friends probably dragged you here, and you’re in for it. 


You can choose to downplay your virgin status by dressing in appropriate Rocky attire. In that case, you may want to get your hands on a pair of stiletto heels, black fishnets and a flashy corset. 

Costumes are entirely optional and enhance the cult experience, but for now, wearing something casual is suitable. After a few shows, you may find yourself gravitating toward something a little more outrageous to match the characters in the film. 

The Time Warp

During the beginning of the film, you will start to notice everyone jump their seats to perform the infamous “Time Warp” dance. But fear not, the movie will provide explicit instructions of how to guide your feet in the right direction. Don’t worry if you forget the steps, the live shadow cast members will help you. After all, it’s just a “jump to the left and step to the right.”

Bring Props

Virgin or not, the following items will certainly come in handy for proper audience participation during the show. Check with your local venue — in Athens’ case, The Union — to make sure these props are allowed:

  1. Rice: thrown during the two wedding scenes.
  2. Water pistols: to simulate rain during the storm.
  3. Toast: thrown during the dinner scene.
  4. Newspaper: worn over the head during the rain scene.
  5. Flashlight: to light up the room when it comes to the “There’s a light” verse during “Over At The Frankenstein Place.”

Audience partici-(SAY IT!)-pation

Simply put, audience participation is the soul of the entire performance. Fans have been using talk-back lines to enhance the Rocky Horror experience for more than thirty years. Although there are key lines that are universally incorporated by audiences, more are created with every show.

There are two ways to approach your first show: go in completely blind of all the call-back lines, or research and come prepared with a few raunchy phrases. With a few shows under your belt, you’ll be able to memorize lines with ease.