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New Nuart Rules


In its 18 years of release, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" has managed to achieve a singular show-biz niche as a midnight-screening cult film, cross-dressing extravaganza and audience-participation party. To put it mildly, there's much more to seeing this movie than sitting in the dark and chewing popcorn.

The film plays Saturdays in West L.A. at the Nuart Theater, among others, where a 22-person live cast enhances the viewing experience by dressing like the film's actors, lip-syncing to the songs and mimicking the on-screen action. In the understated opinion of Nuart assistant manager George Price, "there's a lot going on that's separate from what's happening on-screen."

To keep the off-screen activities under control, the Nuart has instituted a set of guidelines and taboos for "Rocky Horror" audiences. For example, there are a number of props fans might bring to use during certain key scenes. The sanctioned ones are listed outside the theater. They include: rice, newspapers, flashlights, surgical gloves ("preferably new ones"), confetti, toilet paper and toast ("It's best if the toast is not too old--kind of hard--that black stuff flakes off. And unbuttered.")

As with the restriction on props there are a few rules on behavior. The list includes:

* No seltzer bottles.

* Please stay seated during the movie, except for the "Time Warp."

* Don't squirt the stage, to avoid injury to the cast.

* Don't throw anything at the screen, to avoid injury to the cast.

* Please do not throw or squirt anything in the back 10 rows of the theater as these are reserved for the people who want to stay clean.

"There was a time when there were no restrictions, except on alcohol and glass," said Price, but later, "it was pretty much out of control. It was also impossible to clean up afterward."

Can You Imagine That?

Social Climes keeps encountering these fleeting urban moments that put '90s culture in perspective.

A film writer we know was riding the escalator to the Laemmle Sunset Five and found himself standing near a man he described as "in his 20s with a pony tail and the requisite hole the size of Texas in his jeans."

Half-way up the escalator the stranger turned to the writer and asked, "Do you know where the community room is? My church is having an imaging and I'm late."

Which left the writer bemused as he watched "The Peking Opera Blues."

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