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BRATTLEBORO — How did you lose your Rocky Horror Picture Show virginity?

In anticipation of this weekend's screening at the Latchis Theatre, fans with ties to Southern Vermont recently shared their stories of attending a live showing of the 1975 cult classic for the first time. Showings are known for audience participation in raucous activity, inside jokes, games and rituals — complete with costumes and sexual innuendos. Often, there is a live cast acting along with the film. Live showings are said to be such a full experience that those who haven't attended one are known in the Rocky Horror cult as "virgins."

The trouble starts when Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) get a flat tire during a storm, and wind up at the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist, where they meet a cast of eccentric characters.

This weekend's show at the Latchis is at 10 p.m. Saturday, with pre-show music and video art by Peetr Wilson at 9:30. Costumes are encouraged.

For some youth, at a time before the internet, showings of Rocky Horror provided a social refuge.

"I started going in teens, and then in my 20s, and it was, at that point, sort of a safe haven for queer youth," said Cary Storm of Brattleboro in a phone call, recalling her youth in rural southern Virginia.

She recalls the thinking, "You've shown up now at 'Rocky Horror,' which means that you're not walking, you know, a straight line. There was a fair amount of like eyeing each other up and down, like, OK, so which variation of the non-straight line are you? It really was a very safe haven."

She said she has been going to the shows at the Latchis for years now. She lightheartedly notes that due to the historical value of the old theater, some of the more raucous activities — like squirting water guns — aren't allowed. At 50, she considers herself among the "group of old folks who know the lines." One of the coolest aspects of recent years, she said, has been bringing her own children as they come of age.

"And then watching them be a little bit shocked, you know, but also sort of watching them get into the spirit of the thing," Storm said.

For anyone, she said, the show captures the spirit of accepting who you are.

"Even people who aren't transitioning in terms of gender roles transition as they age. They move into figuring out who they actually are," she said. "And the movie, at its base, is really about that — figuring out who you really are, in a really important way."

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Robyn Flatley, of Brattleboro, recalls working at the Clinton Street Theater in Portland, Ore., doing the midnight Rocky Horror Show while putting herself through art school.

"There are very few movies that can be watched more than one time. I walked into that showing almost every night and it was forever a kick," Flatley wrote in response to a Facebook callout for memories. "The audience was always wild, new, and fresh as they mimicked the moves. At 3 a.m. we would be cleaning up the theater of all the food: hot dogs, toast, rice ... and, of course, popcorn. The floor was super sticky with spilled sodas. Often, I would ride my bike home on the dark, empty streets humming 'Sweet Transvestite.'"

Others who shared their Rocky Horror memories via Facebook included Anthony A. Fernando, of Guilford, whose "First time watching was midnight showing in Orlando, Florida with a huge bunch of friends! It was awesome!!!" And Sally Evans Caltrider, of West Chesterfield, N.H., whose first time was at the Latchis in the 1980s. "I assumed everyone in the theater was stoned but me," Caltrider wrote. "The next day a different friend wanted to see it and I went again. Knowing what to expect made all the difference. So much fun! Fabulous music."

Amy King Majer, of Brattleboro, went to see Rocky Horror for the first time at age 16, in Pensacola, Fla., in 1986. "I talked my Dad into taking me," she wrote, with four exclamation points. "In high school, it was a regular weekend event. Midnight movie and it was always always packed. Rice, toast, spray bottles of water, newspaper, pink rubber gloves, costumes, the whole thing. There was almost always a live cast. We go every year at the Latchis!"

Gary Swindler, of Guilford, shared via email a memory from what he believes was the summer of 1977.

"I grew up in Washington, D.C. at a time when the Key Theater in Georgetown was in its heyday of showing cutting edge movies. It also was known to have very liberal 'rules of the house'. My friends and I spent most of an entire summer's worth of weekend nights in the late 1970s attending midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

"One night I brought my pet snake, which was a very much appreciated addition to the audience performance," Swindler wrote. "Another night, I brought my mother along with a dozen of my pot-smoking friends. Other than being concerned over the 'fire hazard' from all the smoking, she was amused."

Paula Sagerman, of Brattleboro, wrote in with a memory of seeing Rocky Horror at the Latchis in 1980, at age 14.

"I have no idea why my mother let me go! I went with 'older kids,'" she wrote. "That was back when there was no Theater #3 and we sat under the balcony and watched stuff rain down from up there onto the people below, and I remember people in costume running around. It may have been the craziest thing I had ever done by that age."

Hannah Earley, who grew up in Brattleboro and now lives in Saxtons River, recalls her first time seeing the show in-person at the Latchis.

"We all dressed up in our craziest outfits," she said. "I distinctly remember it being BUHS picture day and then after photos were done, shaving my best friend's head into a mohawk and putting on our drag and then heading right down to Rocky Horror. The best of times."