At a time when we have more opportunities than ever to avoid the expense and inconvenience of cinemas in favor of viewing even new releases in the comfort of our living rooms, it’s kind of remarkable that one film is still showing on dozens of screens after four decades. That film is, of course, The Rocky Horror Picture. And it’s maintained its place in so many American movie theaters because those midnight screenings still offer an experience you just can’t get at home, with elaborately costumed live reenactors leading amusingly lewd performances that go heavy on audience participation.
In celebration of Rocky‘s 40th anniversary, in September, Portland-based photographer Lauren Everett embarked on a quest to document these colorful “shadow casts.” Shot at subjects’ homes, from New York and LA to Virginia and Texas, these intimate and beautifully composed photo portraits place the movie’s superfans in the context of their real-life surroundings — revealing how each embraces Rocky‘s liberating “don’t dream it, be it” philosophy. As Everett notes, “The show’s progressive sexual politics create an atmosphere of acceptance, which often serves as an oasis for young people who feel disconnected from mainstream culture.”
Everett is currently in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign to publish People Like Us: The Cult of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a book that will pair her photographs with essays from scholars, theater owners, and members of the Rocky community. Click through for a selection of highlights from Everett’s series, visit her website to see a whole lot more, and then consider contributing to this deeply worthwhile project.