For years, Bowling Green was a Rocky Horror town. Like many college cities, BG hosted a weekly screening of the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, every Saturday night at the Cla-Zel Theater on Main Street. Then, in 2005, the Cla-Zel was renovated and repurposed into a nightclub, and the days of Rocky were no more.
Until now. On Monday, October 30 and Tuesday, October 31, Howard’s Club H in Bowling Green— just a stone’s throw up Main Street from the Cla-Zel— will be screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight, just like the good old days. Fans are encouraged to come out and watch the film on the club’s big screen.
“It hasn’t been shown here in town for quite a while. And we just knew that Halloween was coming up, and it might be a good time to pop that in and see what happens,” said Tony Zmarzly, Howard’s co-owner.
This will be a full-blown, honest-to-god audience participation screening of Rocky, too. At traditional screenings of the film, fans not only attend dressed in costume but also prepared to interact with the film— shouting out responses to dialogue, dancing along with the musical numbers, using props. Rice is thrown during a wedding scene; bread is tossed when a toast is made.
Zmarzly made clear that this kind of participation is not only welcome, but encouraged. “That wouldn’t be a big deal at Howard’s at all. There’s been a lot worse things thrown around this place, I’m sure.”
Howard’s, which has been a BG staple for nearly 90 years, has “a rich history of live acts,” Zmarzly said. “In the current location since 1973, there’s been a Howard’s in Bowling Green since 1928. And it’s had a lot of fairly big acts come through over the years.”
A Wild and Untamed Thing
While there are currently no plans to feature a full cast performing on stage— as was the case during the Cla-Zel’s screenings and at many of the still-running Rocky events across the country— Zmarzly has been in contact with individuals who performed in BG during Cla-Zel shows and hopes they will attend the new event.
“It depends on how successful it is, really. It’s not cheap, so it’s gotta make sense, from a cost standpoint. I’d be more than willing to have it play there once a month.”
11:55pm. Monday, October 30.
Howard’s Club H
210 N. Main St. | Bowling Green
419-352-3195 | howardsbg.com