42° Good Morning
42° Good Morning

'The Rocky Horror Picture Show': 40 fun facts to celebrate its 40th anniversary

When "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" hit screens in 1975, Newsweek called it "tasteless, plotless, pointless." Do the time warp, and the Library of Congress now reveres the camp classic as "culturally significant."

"Rocky Horror" actually began as a show on the London stage in 1973, which then opened in Los Angeles in 1974 and on Broadway the next year. But it's the film that became a cult favorite. You can catch the Midnight Movie darling, which shaped the goth/glam/punk craze, on Halloween in Port Washington, Riverhead and Patchogue. To honor the movie's 40th anniversary, behold 40 facts you didn't know about it.

1. Shiver with anticipation! Fox's remake, directed by Kenny Ortega, airs next fall.

2. It's remained in theaters since 1975, making it the longest-running film ever.

3. Princess Diana said the film "quite completed my education."

4. Shadow-casting -- where prop-wielding fans interact live -- was spawned at Manhattan's Waverly Theatre.

5. The London musical debuted June 19, 1973, running 3,000 performances.

10. Elvis Presley saw the stage version at L.A.'s Roxy Theatre in March 1974.

11. The first person to shout back at actors on the U.K. stage was reportedly David Bowie's wife, Angie.

16. The 1975 Broadway run at the Belasco Theatre closed after 45 performances.

17. Broadway's 2000 revival featured Joan Jett, Ana Gasteyer, Dick Cavett, Gilbert Gottfried, Penn & Teller and Jerry Springer.

6. For the movie, Steve Martin lost the Brad role to Barry Bostwick.

7. Russell Crowe played Dr. Scott in Australia's 1987 stage version.

8. Comedic cross-dressing, like Tim Curry's sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania, is common. The first serious depiction was in Alfred Hitchcock's 1930 thriller "Murder!"

9. An upside-down pink triangle adorns Curry's gown, mocking the Nazi practice of labeling gay prisoners with triangles.

12. Hilary Farr of HGTV's "Love It or List It" played Betty on screen.

13. Oakley House, now a hotel on the Thames River, served as exterior for "Rocky Horror" and Hammer's horror films.

14. "Frankenstein" author Mary Shelley, who inspired "Rocky Horror," was portrayed by Elsa Lanchester in 1935's "Bride of Frankenstein." The actress was also in "Murder By Death" (1976), which was filmed at the same British castle as "Rocky Horror."

15. TV host Craig Ferguson played Brad in a London stage revival.

18. Playwright Richard O'Brien based Frank-N-Furter's look on Alice Cooper.

19. Three New Yorkers grace the mostly British film cast: Susan Sarandon, Rufus Collins and Koo Stark, Prince Andrew's ex.

20. Sarandon, Curry, Bostwick and Meat Loaf recently reunited for a "Today" show interview.

21. Since premiering at L.A.'s Westwood Theater on Sept. 26, 1975, the film has grossed $140 million.

22. Mick Jagger wanted to play Frank-N-Furter.

23. Soundtrack pianist John Bundrick has played with Jagger, The Who, Roger Waters, etc. "I just fit right in with English musicians," the Texas native tells Newsday.

24. Before applying paint-it-black mascara to Frank-N-Furter, Pierre La Roche was Jagger's makeup man.

25. The soundtrack, featuring Procol Harum's Mick Grabham, peaked at No. 49 on Billboard's charts.

26. Cinematographer Peter Suschitzky shot Star Wars' "The Empire Strikes Back."

27. Nell Campbell, who played Columbia, owned Nell's, a 1980s Manhattan club frequented by Run DMC, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.

28. This was Meat Loaf's movie debut.

29. Skid Row's Sebastian Bach covered "Time Warp."

30. Man Ray's 1936 painting "The Lovers" inspired the opening scene's floating lips.

31. "Saturday Night Live" writer Tom Davis did lighting at L.A.'s play.

32. A quasi-sequel, "Shock Treatment," flopped in 1981.

33. Ghoulish cinema icon Vincent Prince attended the musical's U.K. debut. Producers called it "a good omen."

34. Richard Nixon's resignation airs on the radio as Janet reaches the castle.

35. Movie-company logos run rampant. Look for the radio tower (RKO), snarling cat (MGM), griffin's shield (Warner Bros.), globe (Universal) and groupie named "Columbia."

36. Director Jim Sharman helmed the plays "Hair" and "Jesus Christ Superstar."

37. Waverly theatergoer Alan Riis, a Brooklyn college student, coined the interactive phrase, "Let there be lips!"

38. Bostwick and Meat Loaf cameoed in "Glee's" 2010 tribute.

39. Mogul Lou Adler bought the film rights after seeing the play with actress Britt Ekland.

40. The play's original title? "They Came From Denton High."


Whether it's a jump to the left or a step to your right, don't be spooked if your audience members wield flashlights, curse at Brad and don fishnets at these three spots where "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" will screen on Halloween.

WHEN | WHERE Midnight., Port Washington Cinemas, 116 Main St.

INFO $11.25 for film and live shadowcast, also includes costume and trivia contests, $3 props (no rice or toast); 516-883-6464,

WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m., Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead

INFO $20 food/beverage minimum, plus DJ after-party and costume contest, $10 props (no outside props), call to reserve prop bags; 631-727-4343,

WHEN | WHERE 7:30 p.m., Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 E. Main St.

INFO $13-$23, $5 props (no rice, food or toast), live shadowcast by ZEN Room and costume contest at 6:30; 631-207-1313,


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More Entertainment