Indies and Arties: Science Fiction Double Feature at E Street Cinema



As Meatloaf wondered in song just before his brutal murder by a transsexual vampire alien named Dr. Frank-N-Furter, “Whatever happened to Saturday night?”

Well, if you’re Molly Scrivens, operations manager for Sonic Transducers D.C., your Saturday nights belong to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Armed with fishnets, feather boas and a dream, the group has put on screenings of the 1975 cult classic — complete with live “shadow cast” performances — at Landmark’s E Street Cinema for more than a year.

STD started as an offshoot of the more established Satanic Mechanics, who have put on the show at the University of Maryland in College Park for years. Scrivens says some STD members have been doing “Rocky” for more than 20 years.

Thirty-five years on, “Rocky” feels downright quaint. But Scrivens says the enduring appeal of the Rocky Horror experience goes beyond the film itself: It’s really about community.

“We make fun of life, which sounds very existential,” she says. “But I think the message is to be yourself and not worry about offending anyone. It’s about feeling like you’re part of something bigger. People do ‘Rocky’ all over the country — and in Paris, in Italy, London.”

That, and the fact that people just enjoy wearing their underpants to the movies. “Rocky” is best seen in a ridiculous outfit. But, if you’re too shy to brave the bus in a bustier, E Street might be just the venue for your virgin voyage.

“It’s a nice, classy theater, and these are nice, classy people,” Scrivens laughs. “I’ve seen a few people come out of the bathrooms. It looked like they were changing.”

The Halloween shows sell out fast, so get there early — and be in costume.

» E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW; Fri. & Sat., midnight, $10; 202-452-7672. (Metro Center)

Photo courtesy Sonic Transducers

Shauna Miller is managing editor at the Atlantic's CityLab. You can hit her up on Her.

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Katherine Boyle · October 27, 2010