ROCKY HORROR NEW YEAR’S EVE RETURNS TO HHT

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“Great Scott” is the cue to hurl a roll of toilet paper into the air Courtesy Photos of HHT

The Historic Hemet Theatre announced this week that “Rocky Horror New Year’s Eve” will return to the big screen this December. The theatre has hosted this cult film classic on New Year’s Eve since 2015 – except of course during last year’s COVID shutdown.

Hemet’s “Zaniest New Years in Town” features the 1975 cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” If you have never experienced this movie in a theatre, you have missed one of the most unique pop culture phenomenon of all time.

Don’t be fooled by the name. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is not a horror film by any stretch of the imagination. It is a goofy musical about a transvestite mad scientist who designs himself a lover and a naive couple that gets caught up in the ensuing celebration. The film is just really strange, but the audience participation keeps fans coming back again and again. Many fans dress in costumes to match the characters on the screen (which are really bazaar).

Sing and dance along with the film, doing “The Time Warp” Courtesy Photos of HHT

Cult tradition prescribes a series of props that are used at specific spots in the movie. For this show, admission includes a bag of 10 items and instructions on when to use them. Tradition also includes a series of “callouts” screamed at the top of your lungs throughout the movie. The smart aleck comments are hysterical, making the whole thing seem like an out-of-control frat party. Extreme vulgarity is part of the Rocky Horror tradition, so those with sensitive ears should stay far away from this one. The film is rated R, patrons under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children under 13 will not be admitted (no one wants to scream obscenities sitting next an 8-year-old).

At HHT, about half of the crowd will be baby boomers that fell in love with the film in their youth. Some of them were drawn to the film week after week, dressed in outrageous costumes and makeup. The rest of the New Year’s Eve crowd will be a mixture of new generation fans and newbies, anxious to experience for themselves the insanity they have only heard about.

Courtesy Photos of HHT

Rick Baker and Troupe of Lost Souls will return to host the evening, guiding the insanity as much as that is possible. Before the film is the orientation, with the proper use of each item in the bag of props. Newbies are encouraged to come forward so they can take part in the traditional (and only mildly embarrassing) newbie ceremony.

Tickets for Rock Horror New Year’s Eve are $15 and include a bag of props with instructions. Outside props will not be permitted. Come dressed for the costume contest to add to the fun. Concessions will include $3 wine and beer.

Doors open at 9:00 pm, with newbie orientation starting at 9:30 and the movie starting 10:00 pm. Following the movie will be a costume contest and a countdown to midnight.

Information on all theatre events is available at www.HistoricHemetTheatre.com or by calling the ticket office, (951) 658-5950. You can subscribe to the HHT email blast by enrolling on the website.

Emily Rand | Contributed

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