Rocky Horror, at the Valhalla

Lips The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a movie that I've always enjoyed. It's so long ago that I first saw it, I can't remember when that was. Probably when the old Valhalla cinema was still in Richmond. The Val opened there on 10 June 1976. Back when I was at school! The same place that I first saw Woody Allen's "Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask". The same place that I first saw "The Blues Brothers".

At some time -- the trivia experts may remember when, but I certainly don't -- the Valhalla moved from Richmond to Northcote. In 1996, the management had some disagreement with the owners and the Valhalla had its final closing night on Monday 10 June 1996. Appropriately perverse that that the closing night of a cinema was a night not of film but of live comedy. Excellent fun it was, too, but so was the Saturday night previous.

last Valhalla night
Saturday night, 8 June 1996, was the last time that Rocky Horror screened at the Val. Now, I must admit that I didn't see RHPS very often. Once every year or two. But it was a part of Melbourne. One of those few public things for which, if I chose to just go along on the spur of the moment, I knew I would see at least a few friends and acquantances and have a fun time.

So, in seeing it all end, it was like the end of an era.

Well, so much for my rant. I was asked to be Brad that night, but I didn't really feel prepared to do that. More than that, I wanted to sit back, watch, and take some photos.

last Valhalla night
While I've only seen Rocky Horror in Melbourne at a nightclub since the Val closed, I have seen it in another theatre. After the 16 hour trip, my first, to the USA, I was on my way to a Thai restaurant in LA when I saw the Nuart. It was Saturday evening, and a big sign proclaimed that Rocky Horror was on every Saturday night. What an opportunity, especially since I would have no other Saturday nights in LA.

So, having had no sleep in the previous 30 hours, I dragged the people I was staying with off to the Nuart later that night. Not only that, but I dobbed both of them in to the regulars there as virgins, so that they would be treated appropriately! They had "V"s painted on their faces in lipstick and were among the ritually deflowered masses on stage before the show. That was excellent. The treatment of virgins here had gone down hill a lot over the years, but in LA it's done really well.

I was surprised that no water was sprayed about by the LA mob. I'm so used to everyone putting newspapers over their heads when it starts raining, and the Supersoakers being used around the place making sure it really does start raining for everyone.

My only real criticism of the LA screening was the way they yelled over so many of the lines, and often without enough projection to be heard clearly. That way, you get two muffled lines at once. Those who have seen the show a fair bit before can tell what the real line is and guess what the cast's line is, but the virgins just don't have a clue and find the show damned hard to follow.

... RHPS Purity Test.
... so much more on Rocky Horror.