Where When Frequency
Showcase Cinemas Seekonk, MA Oct '77 Jan '78 Twice Weekly
Cinerama Providence, RI Feb '78 Apr '82 Twice Weekly
Jane Pickens Theatre Newport, RI 1980 1981 Twice Weekly

The linear trace of RKO Army does not include this period. However, out of this time came the seeds that evolved to what would be RKO Army. The Showcase did not have a cast. It was about a 13 week winter run that included people coming in dressed as characters and there was audience AP too. The Cinerama is the cradle of RHPS casts in RI. The major cast there lasted from 1978-1981. After it faded out, a few months later another cast formed that lasted about 8 months. After that, there were people there but it was more or less a t-shirt and flashlight group. When the show ended, the 4+ year run of the Cinerama run was considered unbeatable. The Jane Pickens Theatre started running in 1980. There were one or two people going dressed as cast.

Where When Frequency
Jane Pickens Theatre Newport, RI Aug '81 Aug '82 Twice Weekly
Cinerama Providence, RI Mar '83 One Night

The true linear trace of RKO Army begins at the Jane Pickens Theatre in the summer of 1981. Former members of the first Cinerama cast joined up with the one or two people doing the show at the Jane Pickens. This was a great coming together and the first time we could see growth and improvement. During that time, we also reached out to another theater called the UA Theatre in Groton, CT. Audience members saw us do a few shows there and formed their own cast ("Hedonistic Theatre"). Our run ended after a year in August of 1982. We were dead in the water. However, many of us joined up with the Groton cast. Then, we found out the fabled Cinerama was ending. There was no cast there, so we went there and did the last movie ever run in that building on 3/19/83. It was the only show this cast could say they did at that building. It was an epic night, sold out. Ironically, the last picture show at the Cinerama was what pulled us and the remaining community back together and launched us into what would become our history.

Where When Frequency
Avon Cinema Providence, RI Apr '83 May '83 Twice Weekly
Cable Car Cinema Providence, RI Sep '83 Dec '83 Twice Weekly
Fairlawn Cinema Pawtucket, RI Dec '83 Feb '84 Twice Weekly

This era was marked by 3 relatively brisk runs but that helped us build our foundation. The Avon, the ultimate college theatre in Providence and just down the road from the now-destroyed Cinerama, was not even going to let a cast in. However, we were eventually given a chance and it all worked out. We pulled together forces from The Jane Pickens Theatre, The old Cinerama cast, and the Groton cast. For the first time, we had a full cast both on Friday & Saturday nights. It began an unintentional trend that lasted a few years where the Friday and Saturday night casts were almost completely different sets of people. Then the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe picked it up. We learned how to do the show in a tiny theatre with couches for seats. Then there was the Fairlawn. This was in a rough part of town.

Where When Frequency
Warwick Mall Cinemas Warwick, RI Feb '84 Oct '84 Twice Weekly
Cumberland Twin Cinemas Cumberland, RI Apr '85 Aug '87 Twice Weekly
Avon Cinema Providence, RI Aug '87 Sep '87 Variable

The Warwick Mall afforded us a longer run than the 3 previous cinemas combined, but here we faced new challenges. When asked what the biggest difference between now and then was, the answer is obvious to me yet surprising to most people - Violence. Many of the audience were not friendly back then. They came to cause a problem with the fish-net wearing cast. There were fist fights. There were walkouts. There were police visits. There was theater destruction. And there were ambulances. Hard for people today to imagine. That improvement we were seeking finally took place at the Cumberland Twin Cinemas. This was finally a place we could call home. We were treated well for the first time. At this point, we had gotten beyond the challenge of filling the roles every night two nights a week, and now the goal was trying to get good at what we did. This period also marked two other new concepts - Working with other casts (Groton), and working with another theatre (the Avon again) other than the primary one.

Where When Frequency
Meadowbrook Cinemas Warwick, RI Oct '87 Feb '93 Twice weekly
Jane Pickens Theatre Newport, RI Jun '91 Sep '91 Twice weekly
Jane Pickens Theatre Newport, RI Jun '92 Sep '92 Twice weekly
Jane Pickens Theatre Newport, RI Jun '93 Mar '94 Twice weekly
Attleboro Movie House Attleboro, MA Aug '94 Apr '95 Variable

The A.P.P. (Absolute Pleasure Players) marked a first great age for the cast. We took a name (we had been the Rhode Island Rocky Horror Picture Show cast, then the Creatures of the Night). All of the lessons came together. We built better props. Had better lighting. Introduced the idea of prop people. We had this thing running like a business. And while we had some talented people before, we were getting more of them. We also began the concept of live preshows. The Meadowbrook run broke the Cinerama record. The social gathering around the theatre was growing too, in restaurants and parking lots. I would estimate that gathering has never since been matched since for us. With success grew some problems too, both internal and external. Eventually, we left the Meadowbrook after 5 1/2 years. In the summers, we had been sending an unsupported "B" cast down to the Jane Pickens, our old birth ground. We decided to leave and make Jane Pickens our home again. We had to wait 6 months to get back in there, and once we did it only lasted 9 months. During this time, we did do many road shows in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire at theaters, colleges, and clubs. We had done road shows before, but we truly learned the ways of heavy duty travel during this time and we got into a lot of venues. The one we visited most was the Attleboro Movie House.

Where When Frequency
Starlite Dinner Theatre East Hartford, CT Dec '95 Aug '96 Variable
AS220 Providence, RI Mar '96 Aug '98 Variable
Meadowbrook Cinemas Warwick, RI Apr '96 Feb '00 Twice Weekly

Parallel stories mark this transitional time, and it is the most complicated to describe. One story is an older group of us trying to make their way with new ideas. We had no home theatre anymore. We continued to do a lot of road shows in Southern New England. We had semi-steady monthly runs at the Starlight Dinner Theater in Hartford. We worked with the new cast, the Teseracte Players of Boston. We even developed a 47 minute Rocky Horror slide show that was built for small venues and we had almost a dozen performances from that at AS200 in Providence. The other story was an extremely raw and young but discipline group that had emerged at the Meadowbrook called the RKO Players. It had been 3 years since we had left the Meadowbrook. In that time there had been 12 cast directors and multiple casts. Those 3 years are not RKO "history" as there is no organizational linage to them. However, this new young group was refreshing and impressive. To say that we were two "casts" working together is, in hindsight, erroneous. We simply joined each other's operations from the onset. And then in early 2000, the almost 13 year run of the Meadowbrook came to an abrupt end.

Where When Frequency
Park Cinemas Cranston, RI Feb '00 Feb '01 Weekly
Limelight Cinemas Warwick, RI Feb '01 May '01 Weekly
Castle Cinema Providence, RI Jun '01 Sep '03 Weekly
Pastime Cinemas Bristol, RI Jun '02 May '03 Monthly

Any faint lines imagined quickly disseminated as all personal, props, and experience were rolled into one as we moved over to the Park Cinemas. An abrupt end to that business had us moving back to what was the Meadowbrook under new ownership, the Limelight Cinemas. That was a positive run, and then we went to the Castle Cinema for a relatively long run. There was also a parallel monthly run at the Pastime Cinemas. These were not the peak years we had enjoyed in the past, but they did enable us to get our feet back on the ground and once again be a growing cast that did all the things a Rocky Horror cast does. We also started doing some one-off alternate movies, setting the ground for later productions. By the end of this, we were revitalized, and we were RKO Army.

Where When Frequency
Holiday / Island 10 Cinemas Middletown, RI Feb '04 Oct '10 Monthly
Triboro Cinemas Attleboro, MA May '04 Aug '05 Monthly
East Bridgewater Cinemas East Bridgewater, MA Nov '05 Oct '11 Monthly
Entertainment Cinemas South Kingstown, RI Sep '07 Oct '10 Monthly
The Orpheum Foxboro, MA Jul '08 Present Monthly

What marked the Modern Era was a decision to take control once and for all, to see ourselves as something much different than we had been. The 6 months it took to find a new home served us well to fortify this outlook. If we were going to continue to put time into this after all these years, it had to be a worthwhile project. Inertia was no longer sacred. What I say here is not a reflection on any other cast. It is a reflection on where we were, how we felt about it, where we wanted to be, and what we needed to do in our unique situation to get there. Gone were the days of weekly shows. They would become monthly, to make an event out of it rather than a hangout. Gone were the midnight start times. The earlier the better, to get more people in. Gone were the days of letting just anyone in the cast because they wanted to be in. Now it was a matter of who *we* wanted in the cast. Gone were the days of many things that we felt stagnated us. It began with a 1st Friday of the Month at the Holiday (Later Island 10) Cinemas. Given that we had a 3 other open weeks, we eventually started doing 2nd Fridays at the Triboro. That theatre closed, but soon we replace fit with East Bridgewater. A bit later, the 3rd Fridays were a 3rd cinema - Entertainment Cinemas. Seemingly, this was enough, until the opportunity to do a 4th theatre at The Orpheum opened up. We could not pass that one down. We built props for all theaters. We upgraded technology for all theaters. The talented people attracted more talented people. The show and preshows were simply at a level beyond the past. We also went beyond tradition with just Rocky and Shock Treatment. We added REPO!, Dr. Horrible and Buffy. This attracted even more people, and it made our Rocky production better. Theme shows took on a new level of quality. Cast retention also was at its best ever. After 3 full decades, I'd never seen it better.

Where When Frequency
Parkade Cinemas Manchester, CT Sep '12 Present Variable
Lincoln Cinema World Lincoln, RI Jul '12 Present Variable
The Orpheum Foxboro, MA Jul '08 Present Monthly

People seeing the term "CON ERA" may think it's due to RKO CON, but it's not entirely. Certainly, being suggested by the community to throw a con is a tremendous honor. The "Modern Era" ended with the loss of 3 of our 4 monthly run cinemas and with the tremendous influx of opportunity to perform at conventions. Given the 5 aforementioned productions we do, and with the addition of Firefly and Serenity, we have found quite a niche in the convention community. Among others, RI Comic Con, Connecticon, Temple Con, Total Con, and Arisia Con have provided great audiences. The Pride Parade is a wonderful celebration to be part of. Local universities and clubs and comic stores have provided great audiences. No two RKO shows seem to be the same anymore. We look to get back some regular run cinemas too, as we did with Cinemaworld. I don't know how long this era will last, but it's taking the excitement of what we built and letting us display it to greater audiences.