'Come throw toast at people': Rocky Horror returns to Pride

The Calgary Queer Arts Society is set to host a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in conjunction with the Calgary Underground Film Festival as a part of this year's Calgary Pride festival.

Calgary Queer Arts Society hosting screening of the bizarre 1975 musical horror

It's a cult classic with a big following that has morphed into a fully interactive theatre experience. (20th Century Fox/Getty Images)

The plot of the famed cult phenomenon The Rocky Horror Picture Show is difficult to summarize.

It begins simply enough: Brad Majors and Janet Weiss (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon, respectively), a newly engaged couple, find themselves lost on a rainy evening.

But upon discovering a strange castle full of bizarre characters, it becomes clear things are about to get a tad unconventional.

"It's a mix of a haunted house-style movie, and then very rapidly becomes a musical," said James Demers, executive director of the Calgary Queer Arts Society in an interview with the Calgary Homestretch. "Then it goes completely off course from there."

The arts society has hosted multiple screenings of the film in prior years, and will host this year's screening in conjunction with the Calgary Underground Film Festival during Calgary Pride.

For Demers, the screening is an opportunity to take part in a wild and unorthodox theatre experience.

"Rocky Horror broke all the rules of what we understood a cult classic to be. People would throw things at each other, dress up, yell at the screens and give the characters advice," he said. "We often see multiple generations of people buying tickets. We often see grandmas and aunts and moms and grandpas. It's wonderful."

As per tradition, this screening is certain to be full of fans dressed up like Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), Riff Raff (Richard O'Brien) or Magenta (Patricia Quinn).

Demers said the event was an opportunity for people to play with gender.

"We encourage people to dress up. I'll be honest, the vast majority of the audience dresses up," he said. "You will not be alone. The handful of people in sneakers and T-shirts are always mildly confused by the time the theatre is loaded."

Guests will have the opportunity to purchase prop kits on site at Globe Cinema, 617 8th Ave. S.W., meaning they will be properly equipped with all of the essentials for a Rocky Horror screening — namely toast, glow sticks and water guns. Instructions for throwing, yelling and screaming will helpfully appear on screen.

"If you've been out at Pride all day, it's been hot and you're tired, come sit in a movie theatre and come throw toast at people," Demers said.

The screening, which is scheduled for Sept. 1 at Globe Cinema, will kick off with a pre-show featuring performances from Phil and Fake Mustache.

For tickets, visit the Calgary Underground Film Festival website at

Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien) and Magenta (Patricia Quinn) in a scene from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, playing as part of Calgary Pride 2019. (20th Century Fox)

With files from the Calgary Homestretch.


  • An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated The Rocky Horror Picture Show is scheduled for the Plaza Theatre. In fact, it will be screened at Globe Cinema, 617 8th Ave. S.W.
    Aug 24, 2019 9:36 AM MT


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