In the storied history of Los Angeles city government, it may have been the first time that a city lawmaker earnestly urged the public, "Give yourself over to absolute pleasure."
Councilman Paul Koretz and other lawmakers declared Friday "Rocky Horror Picture Show Day" in a tribute to the campy cult classic known for its raucous midnight screenings, welcoming its star Tim Curry, producer Lou Adler and costumed performers to the ordinarily staid chambers of City Hall.
The film, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, is a musical tale about Dr. Frank N. Furter -- a "sweet transvestite" from Transylvania who welcomes a buttoned-up couple to his castle after their car gets a flat tire on a rainy November night.
Panned by critics when it opened, it later inspired fans who dressed up as its outlandish characters, toted props like water pistols and newspapers, acted out scenes and shouted at the screen at interactive midnight screenings. Koretz said it had transformed "the very nature of the cinematic experience."
Beyond its campy theatrics, "the film has also been helpful in the gay and bisexual rights movement, the acceptance of fabulous drag queens and has provided an essential community for people who otherwise may feel themselves on the fringe of society," Koretz said.
Curry thanked the councilman for "a great honor," remarking on the beauty of the City Hall building. "Hooray," he said. "I'm so glad that our day is so close to my favorite American holiday: Halloween."
Adler quipped that he had grown up in nearby Boyle Heights, and "if someone would have told me that I was going to the City Hall in the morning, I would have been more scared than excited."
Nor, Adler said, would he have believed anyone who said they would still be celebrating the film today. "I had no idea that this could possibly happen," Adler said, crediting Curry for its enduring appeal.
The Friday presentation also included remarks from fan club president Sal Piro and a costumed performance of the "Time Warp" by Sins O'The Flesh, which performs weekly at the NuArt Theatre. Later that afternoon, a commemorative plaque was scheduled to be unveiled at the Westwood theater where the film had its U.S. premiere.
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