you ever heard, or might have heard, about ROCKY HORROR at The
Tiffany Theater is true.
One of the most important, pioneering, and influential venues in the
history of the ROCKY HORROR community,
the Tiffany Theater was the West Coast hub for ROCKY HORROR from June
6, 1977 to March 13, 1983.
Everyone went to the Tiffany. It was Absolute Pleasure.
8534 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood CA
November 2, 1966 - August 30, 2013 From The Collection Of D. Garrett Gafford
Friday & Saturday nights, the Tiffany Theater was one of the hottest
spots on the world-famous Sunset Strip.
"THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" played there every Friday
and Saturday night at MIDNIGHT and at 2 AM.
ROCKY HORROR fans from all over the USA came to the Tiffany Theater because
of it's notorious party atmosphere.
For ROCKY HORROR fans at that time, a visit to the Tiffany was a rite
of passage that had to be experienced at least once.
Sex, drugs, rock 'n'roll, booze, art, fashion, and ROCKY HORROR...it was
all there right in front of you. It had The Spirit.
Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, and Lou Adler all visited the
Tiffany during ROCKY HORROR's run there.
In his first book, "Creatures Of The Night", Sal Piro referred
to the Tiffany as the "8th Street Playhouse Of The West."
He was certainly right about that. ROCKY HORROR at the Tiffany was big,
loud, and very, very popular.
During the height of it's popularity, an average of 1500 people saw ROCKY
HORROR at the Tiffany every single weekend.
I started going to the Tiffany with EROTIC NIGHTMARES
in November 1979.
From the first time I saw the glittering lights of the theater's marquee
and the huge crowd outside waiting to get in,
I experienced a rush of positive exhilirartion that I never experienced
before. I knew I had come to the right place.
I consider myself very fortunate to have been involved with ROCKY HORROR
at the Tiffany for nearly 4 years.
I had some of the most wonderful times of my life while I was there.
This is where I grew up. But
first, a little history.
The Tiffany Theater was located at 8534 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood
That's on the south side of Sunset Boulevard, just west of La Cienaga
The Tiffany's neon marquee was designed by Wayne E. Heath.
The Tiffany was less than a mile from the Roxy Theater where "The
Rocky Horror Show" played in 1974.
The rear parking lot behind the Tiffany had one of the most spectacular
views of Los Angeles.
At the time ROCKY HORROR was playing there, the Tiffany was owned by Tommy
The Tiffany seated 400 people.
The building itself was the Mary Webb Davis Modeling School before it
was converted into a theater in 1966.
It was a Sunset Strip landmark and tourist attraction, located in between
the Playboy Club and Dino’s
From 1958 to 1964, the restaurant, along with the building that became
the Tiffany, was featured in every episode
the street was Ben Franks, the legendary restaurant, landmark, and Hollywood
Ben Franks is featured in a lot of classic films, TV shows, and a even
song by Tom Waits.
Ben Franks had some of the most revolting food that I have ever eaten.
Most of us avoided Ben Franks after our first or second visit there.
Several people got sick from eating there, myself included. The service
was the worst you could imagine.
But it was famous for all of that, too. It was part of the schtick. People
still talk about Ben Franks.
Behind the Tiffany was Circus Maximus, the notorious Hollywood massage
Los Angeles has always had a strong and devoted ROCKY HORROR fanbase
ever since the "THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW"
opened at Lou Adler's Roxy Theater on March 24, 1974 where it played
for nine months before moving to Broadway.
The very first ROCKY HORROR costume contest was held at The Roxy Theater
on October 31, 1974.
On September 26, 1975, "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW"
actually previewed at MIDNIGHT at the Fox-Venice
Theater in Los Angeles, and it was attended by an overflow crowd
of the play’s followers. Opening day at the UA
Westwood was several hours later. It opened in various other theaters
in LA the next week. After 2 months, it moved to the smaller UA Cinema
Center in Westwood where it remained in one of the smaller auditoriums
until the end of 1976. It began playing at the Fox-Venice on a weekly
basis in 1976.
It continued playing monthly until the theater closed. Eventually, it
began playing on intermittent Saturdays at Midnight.
Kurtz Sutton had been going to see the film since February 1977.
She had actually seen the pre-release trailer at the UA Westwood in
1975. Lisa is one of a handful of my friends that knows the earliest
history of ROCKY HORROR in Los Angeles. In March 1977, she saw the film
for her fourth time at the Nuart Theater.
She brought her Teddy Bear to hold up during "Eddie's Teddy",
and some noise makers for the creation scene, which went over big with
the group of costumed enthusiasts in the front row.
Around that same time, the Fox-Venice had a costume contest where Michael
Wolfson and Corky Quakenbush won top honors with their detailed recreations
of Frank N Furter and Riff Raff. From that, THE
ROCKY HORROR REVUE was born.
THE ROCKY HORROR REVUE was first ROCKY
HORROR performance group on the West Coast since the Roxy production
of the play closed in early 1975. The Fox-Venice became a hub of the
growing Rocky Madness. THE ROCKY HORROR REVUE
Michael Wolfson as Frank recieved publicity in both Rolling Stone and
Circus magazines. Several fans did not move to the Tiffany so much as
they "branched out" while still attending the Fox-Venice monthly and
eventually, the Tiffany.
THE ROCKY HORROR REVUE still continued and evolved without Michael
Wolfson or their resident Columbia, Sandy Winfield.
"THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW AT THE TIFFANY
AND FOX-VENICE THEATERS"
West Hollywood CA
1978 Video Courtesy of Lisa Kurtz Sutton
June 6, 1977, "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" began running
at midnight at the Tiffany on Fridays & Saturdays.
Within the year, a 2 AM show was added to accommodate the growing crowds.
The Midnight shows were always SOLD OUT, as were most of the 2 AM shows.
It was unusual for us to get out of the theater before 4 AM on the weekends.
ROCKY HORROR was so popular, that for a few weeks it also played on Thursday
The Tiffany's regular cast members eventually became known simply as "The
The line-up changed a few times over the years. It was a very competitive
Anyone who wanted to perform at the Tiffany eventually got to do so.
Plenty of visiting casts got to perform at the Tiffany. The Tiffany was
considered "neutral territory".
On June 16, 1979, the Tiffany got a copy of "THE ROCKY HORROR
PICTURE SHOW" with "Super Heroes".
It hadn't been shown that way in the US in theaters since it was pulled
from the original run in 1975.
It only ran one night (Saturday) at both shows, and it was returned to
Fox the next day.
The late 70's and the early 80's was a very exciting, eclectic, and creative
time in Los Angeles.
Things were changing around us everywhere. There was a sense of freshness
The legenday L.A. Punk / New Wave / New Romantic / Hardcore movements
were in full swing.
It definitely inspired and motivated EROTIC NIGHTMARES
artistically, and as a lifestyle.
At that time, West Hollywood was still an unicorporated area of Los Angeles
That meant the LAPD would not hassle you, but you had to steer clear of
the Los Angeles County Sheriff.
I got in trouble with them a couple of times, but I never went to jail
or anything like that.
By 9 PM, a crowd would already begin to gather In front of the theater.
You could park behind the theater or across the street in the liquor store
parking lot if you got there early enough.
It was always good to get to the theater early. The
show would always sell-out.
It was even better to have a ticket because unless you were performing,
you weren't getting in without one.
The box office was open, and everybody bought their
tickets as soon as they got there. The line for the
show would start at the entrance of the theater, and eventually stretch
west down Sunset Boulevard,
turning south on Alta Loma Road, and eventually stretched down towards
the middle of Holloway Drive.
Those folks at the end of the line were turned away, or they waited until
the 2 AM show.
For the rest of the night, it was one great BIG party.
Drugs and alcohol were openly sold, shared, and consumed on the sidewalk,
but everyone kept an eye out for the cops.
The drug deals were done in a space in between the theater and Chez Dennis.
That used to really piss of the Chez Dennis valet. He was always giving
people a hard time about something.
There were also the occasional fight or drug overdose.
Sex was definitely on most people's minds. Hookers and transvestites were
a common sight on Sunset Blvd.
You could find pretty much anything you wanted while standing in that
line. Sometimes it found you.
March 1980 From
The Collection Of D. Garrett Gafford
It was here that you met some of the most devoted and hardcore
ROCKY HORROR fans. In May 1980, Velvet
Magazine did a 3-page photo spread on us for their up-coming issue.
We had no idea that there was going to be a photo shoot that night...we
were "just dressed up for Rocky".
I don't know what made me want to ditch my Crim outfit for my tailcoat
that night, but I'm sure glad that I did.
These photos truly captured a moment in time. I was 19 years old.
MARTIN, JULIE FORD, VID
MAGENTA JO, RICHARD GIFFORD
West Hollywood CA
FORD & VID
West Hollywood CA
JO, RICHARD GIFFORD
West Hollywood CA
West Hollywood CA
Garrett Gafford had been there since the film started playing at The
She had a real "MOM" tattoo like Frank's.
She lived accross the street from The Tiffany, and her friend Tam worked
for Lou Adler.
Garrett would always tell people she was saving up for a sex-change
Garrett had groupies. She had a huge following. The girls loved her.
COLUMBIA, TERRI HARDIN, GARRET GAFFORD, QUEEN
West Hollywood CA
1980 From The Collection Of D. Garrett Gafford
KAREN BORTER, TERRI HARDIN, DIANA FITZGERALD
West Hollywood CA
1980 Photo Courtesy of Lisa Kurtz Sutton
Hardin was also a devoted ROCKY HORROR fan, and she played Magenta
at The Tiffany.
I'll never forget the night she came to the theater dressed as Chewbacca
from "Star Wars".
She made the costume by herself, and she was over 7 feet tall with
the best make-up I've ever seen.
Karen Borter also played Magenta. She would work with Richard. They
made a great team!
Diana Fitzgerald also played Magenta. Tom Murphy also played Riff-Raff.
Christine Grisanti was always first in line. She was 9 years old
at the time and she played Eddie.
I also met my dear friend, Lori Rizzo. She eventually became the Columbia
for the Tiffany.
MORRIS, CHRISTINE GRISANTI, & JAY
West Hollywood CA
RIZZO & CHRISTINE GRISANTI
West Hollywood CA
hardcore fan and friend was Dawn Morrison. A stunningly beautiful
Dawn was the very first person I met when I first came to Hollywood.
Other notable alumni were Meryl Senatt, David Bryant, Brett Pearce,
Terri Semper, Jay Goldstein,
Meredith Jacobson Marciano, Stacy Homan, Michael Sugar, Hale and Cyn
Fox, and Jason Ward.
Jason sold pins and buttons and he was a fixture at The Tiffany.
Leonard The Button Man and his wife, Ann also sold button with their
dog, JP in front of the Tiffany.
DAWN MORRISON, JASON WARD, BRETT PEARCE, STACY
West Hollywood CA
2 "GORGEOUS GALS", Jill
McManus & Michele Morris, came down from Thousand Oaks.
They were a great Magenta & Columbia team, and they were always
second in line.
Devoted...honest...beautiful...fun...and full of spirit. I will love
those 2 forever!
Jill & Michele are among the most hardcore ROCKY HORROR people
I've ever known.
JILL McMANUS & MICHELE MORRIS
West Hollywood CA
Cove Theater in Hermosa Beach were our friends. I loved
They were regular visitors to the Tiffany, and we considered
them to be "on the same wavelength" as us.
THE DENTON AFFAIR were Jim Cochrane, Gilbert Shannon, Kathy
Blumen, Chelsie Kraemer, Patti Bockting, Laurie Wieland, Steve
Zlick, Bonnie Rose, Don Bliss, Corey Haibloom, Mark Williams,
and Don Inose. They were organized, experienced, and a very
popular draw in the South Bay.
Jim eventually joined the Tiffany Troupe as Brad.
THE DENTON AFFAIR
KATHY BLUMEN, CHELSIE KRAEMER, MARK WILLIAMS, JIM COCHRANE
LAURIE WEILAND, DON BLISS, GILBERT SHANNON & BONNIE ROSE
Hermosa Beach CA
THE DENTON AFFAIR
MICHELE WILLIAMS, JIM COCHRANE, CHELSIE KRAEMER
BONNIE ROSE, KATHY BLUMEN & COREY HAIBLOOM
Hermosa Beach CA
THE DENTON AFFAIR
BONNIE ROSE, KATHY BLUMEN, & CHELSIE KRAEMER
West Hollywood CA
Cartoon was another really cool guy that started turning
up in line. He always had good pot, great books and he really
loved ROCKY HORROR. The first night he showed up at the Tiffany,
he was carrying a huge Celtic cross made of stryofoam.
He would hold it up to the screen when Frank unveils Eddie
at the end of the "Dinner Scene". Steve was the
first person I ever saw get hit by lightning during "There's
A Light". Steve became a fixture at the front of the
line every week. He originally started as the understudy for
Richard for Riff-Riff, but he sooned realized that the obvious
role for him to play was Transylvanian.
He's one of my life-long Rocky friends. He's a mad genius
that fell off a truck. One
night in early 1982, the manager of the theater refused to
let Steve into the theater because of some petty conflict.
Steve was really pissed...so he waited until after the crowd
went inside, and then he re-arranged the marquee letters out
in front of the theater.
It originally read "Neighbors...Starring John Belushi".
By the time Steve was finished re-arranging the letters, it
read "Nigors...Starring John Bushi". Steve then
stuffed the remaining marquee letters into a mail slot of
the adjoining office building.
It caused a tremendous stink. The management of the adjoining
office building refused to return the marquee letters to the
theater, so Steve was banned from the Tiffany for over a year.
He started going to the UA Westwood, where the film would
play to much smaller crowds until the mid-1980's. Eventually,
Steve was allowed back into the theater in 1983.
RICHARD GIFFORD & STEVE CARTOON
(I know "Beetlejuice" was released in 1988, but
this is such a great picture.)
Rocky fans that regularly visited the Tiffany were CREATURES
OF THE NIGHT from Long Beach,
SENSUAL DAYDREAMS from Riverside,
DREAM POLICE from San Diego,
and cast members from Orange, San Francisco,
Phoenix, Las Vegas, and many other ROCKY HORROR performers
from across the USA.
night, Lisa Kurtz Sutton was standing out in front of the
Tiffany when she saw the RTD 91-S bus passing by.
The 91-S started in Downtown LA at 6th & Hill and headed West
on Sunset Blvd. to PCH and then back.
It stopped at the corner of Sunset and La Cienaga, directly
across the street from the Tiffany.
It was the primary source of transporation to the Tiffany
for anyone that not did not have a car.
Lisa looked at it and said, "It's The 91-S...My Favorite
Several people in line heard her say that, and from then on,
for years, every time the 91-S passed the Tiffany,
people would shout "It's The 91-S...My Favorite Bus!".
It was almost like a mantra to some.
And it wasn't very long before a response line turned up:
"Fuck The 91-S!...It doesn't go to Transylvania!"
"IT'S THE 91-S!...MY FAVORITE
West Hollywood CA Photo Courtesy of Lisa Kurtz Sutton
11:30 PM the doors would finally open.
Then would come the legendary "Tiffany Push". It
was the most dangerous part of the night.
The crowd would surge towards the entrance in a frantic 10-minute
non-stop "push" towards the entrance.
To this day, I am amazed that no one got pushed through the
Many people passed out before they even got in the door, but
it was worth it if you got in.
the Tiffany lobby, you passed by a "He's The Hero...That's
Right!...The Hero!" one-sheet poster for the film.
It had been signed by Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry
Then came the rush for seats. After everyone was seated, the
We would de-flower any Virgins that were present, and do our
pre-show down in front of the screen.
After that the lights went down.
The projectionist would crack jokes during the safety announcement,
and ask "Are you ready?!!!"
A&M Records had sent over 2 promotional clips for Tim
Curry's new album, "Fearless".
The girls would go nuts when these films would start, and
they all got up and screamed and danced.
the film rolled. From here it got really crazy. Audience participation
was great at the Tiffany.
The Tiffany's screen was set at eye level, so during the film,
the cast would perform on the sides of the screen.
Since the screen was so low, you could interact with the film
with your hands and other objects.
Hale rode his motorcycle inside the theater during "Hot
Patootie" on more than one occasion.
"There's A LIght"
West Hollywood CA From The Collection Of D. Garrett Gafford
There was one other very special thing about
To the left of the Tiffany's screen, there was an alcove that
led to an exit to the street.
The alcove had a curtain in front of it, and you had the area
of small room.
It was a convenient place to "engage".
That alcove got a lot of action.
On December 21, 1980, I lost my virginity in that alcove during
She was beautiful. A Goddess in every sense of the word. I
was a very lucky man.
consider this period to be one of the happiest of my life. I
had a nice place, a gig, a job, and a beautiful girlfriend.
ROCKY HORROR was now becoming more and more "acceptable"
The goons that wanted to kill us a year before were now showing
I think one reason was because we were drawing all the girls
to our shows.
Another reason was because after they saw it, they realized
it was a great show with great rock'n'roll music.
And I think another reason was that they knew that we didn't
back down, and that we were not afraid of them.
They also realized that we were all looking for the same thing
they were...sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll.
Either way, more and more people were no longer afraid to "give
themselves over to absolute pleasure."
People were actually offering to pay us for advice on
We started seeing more families coming to the show. It was good
for us and good for the theater.
by the end of 1980, the original members of EROTIC
NIGHTMARES were seeing less and less of each other.
We were sick of being cooped-up together, nor were we immune
from the in-fighting, drama and natural growth.
Richard & I were very much enamored by the glamor, energy,
and fast-living that Hollywood offered.
Vid and Julie were much happier doing ROCKY HORROR in RIverside.
Looking back, I can't say I blame them. The Tiffany was very
"Hollywood", and there was a lot less stress in
Lisa Ciafu was spending less time with us, and the other members
of the cast were moving on to other things.
Vid & Julie moved out, and Selina, Joe and Kurt moved
in. Kurt is cool. Kurt is another one my life-long pals.
Richard & I had made a strong impression on the Hollywood
crowd, and we joined "The Tiffany Troupe".
We divided our time between Riverside and Hollywood.
We eventually figured out a way to ride the bus all the way
from Riverside to West Hollywood and back for free. We never
got caught. It was a pleasant and rather comical routine for
a while. On nights that EROTIC NIGHTMARES
were not perfrming, we would ride the RTA 1 bus from Tyler
Mall to the old Downtown Riverside Terminal, which back then
was One The Ghastliest Places On The Face Of The Earth. From
there we'd hop on the SCRTD 496 bus from Riverside to the
Greyhound/Trailways/RTD Station in Downtown LA, and then catch
the SCRTD 91-S ("My Favoite Bus!") to the
theater. We learned very quickly not to take the 91-X bus.
It dropped you off at Santa Monica and La Cienaga Boulevards,
and you had to hike up the hill to Sunset.
If you've ever made that hike, then you know what I mean.
wasn't long before the night 2 girls named Tori & Brandi
showed up at the theater.
Before you knew it, Richard & Brandi got married and they
became the Tiffany Riff Raff/Magenta team.
Tori played Janet for a while. Lori Rizzo was now playing Columbia.
We set up "The Secret Headquarters Of F.A.T.S.O."
in the marquee room underneath the projection booth.
Sometimes, we would sleep in a storage bin in a carport across
the street, or in the marquee room.
On Sunday mornings, we would take the bus back to Riverside
or drive back when we had a car.
The fog on the freeway was so thick sometimes that we could
not see a few feet past the headlights.
One night, Richard & I went to The Starwood and we saw X
and D.O.A. play.
Watching X play changed my life. Billy Zoom inspired me to
play guitar. And play guitar I did!
Life was good.
But then almost overnight, things began to change.
The assassination of John Lennon on December 8, 1980 sent shock
waves around the world.
I was at home with Kurt when we first got the news.
I was shocked. John had been a part of my life since I was a
child. I saw him give a live performance in NYC in 1972.
I took part in the 10-minutes silence on December 14, 1980.
1980 had started off with so much fun, creativity and optimism,
and it had ended in saddness and sorrow.
Life got faster. I had now been involved with ROCKY HORROR
for 2 years.
By this time, more theaters across the country were playing
"THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW".
Rocky Casts began turning up everywhere, and more and more
people made their pilgrimage to the Tiffany.
On February 21, 1981, I met Sal Piro, President of "THE
ROCKY HORROR OFFICIAL FAN CLUB".
He introduced himself to me in the Tiffany projection booth.
SEMI-ANNUAL TRANSYLVANIAN CONVENTION
Los Angeles CA
February 21, 1981
next day, we attended another of Rick's events, the "Semi-Annual
ROCKY HORROR fans from all over California showed up.
The day of the convention, I met a beautiful Trixie from
She was wearing a button that said "Lick It!"
So I licked her button.
She stared at me in shock for a moment and then giggled.
She said her name was Gail. I thought that she was the perfect
I got to co-host the convention, and in the middle of one
of my bits of banter, Richard pantsed me.
It got quite a reaction from the crowd, and it re-affirmed
our reputation fun-loving ROCKY HORROR fans.
We enjoyed Sal's lecture and hung out with THE
But it was also the last time we appeared performing together
in public as EROTIC NIGHTMARES.
Soon after the Con, EROTIC NIGHTMARES
was over for good.
I cannot understate the effect and impact that EROTIC
NIGHTMARES had on people.
We were, at that time, one of the pioneering and most visible
of all the early ROCKY HORROR groups.
We did not start ROCKY HORROR, nor were we the only ones
doing ROCKY HORROR at that time.
But we certainly entertained, inspired, and motivated people
that love ROCKY HORROR.
I will always be a member EROTIC NIGHTMARES.
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW
February 24, 1981, an "Original Production" of
ROCKY HORROR SHOW" opened at the Aquarius
"Original Production" meant that it used Sue
Blane's costumes, Brian Thomson's set design, along
with other elements of the original London, Roxy and Broadway
productions. We were so excited...we had never seen the
We all went on opening night. There was a lot of press!
I met Lou Adler! We wound up on TV!
Gregory played Frank, and he electrified the audience. The
rest of the cast was Steve Lincoln (Narrator), Frank Piergo
(Brad), Marcia Mitzman (Janet), C. J. Critt (Columbia), Pendelton
Brown (Riff Raff), Lorelle Brina (Magenta/Trixie), Tom McLeister
(Eddie/Dr. Scott), and Kim Milford (Rocky). The cast came
out to greet us afterward.
We hung out with Steve Lincoln and drove him back to his room
at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
It was great to finally see the play! We went back several
times, and managed to get front-row seats.
It was a wonderful, energetic time. I believed in ROCKY HORROR.
But then things started happening outside of my ROCKY HORROR
A new manager was hired at the Gold Mine, and he was an evil,
intolerant, thieving, psychotic freak.
He was a genuine self-righteous, hypocrite scumbag.
He made it clear to me that he did not like "you weirdos
that go to that punk-rocker funny picture show".
Company funds started disappearing about a month after he
started working there.
Everyone eventually got fired because of him, including me.
I wish I had known more about workers rights back then.
I heard about a year later that he got caught red-handed and
he was on his way to some lawsuits and jail time.
And then, my girlfriend broke up with me. I never saw it coming.
It was a whole new experience for me.
In April 1981, our "Official Rocky HQ" in La Sierra
closed up shop for good. It had a good run. But it had gotten
Richard had already moved to Hollywood with Brandi. I soon
found myself "out of the loop" with them, too.
I didn't care. I had more important things on my mind. I had
to get out of La Sierra. I felt stifled.
I had a sense of disconnect with The Inland Empire in general.
Riverside had nothing more to offer me, and I knew I didn't
belong there anymore.
Without EROTIC NIGHTMARES there
was nothing to do and no need for a base of operations.
I was unemployed and stuck with an apartment that I didn't
want, couldn't use, and no longer enjoyed.
My friends had moved away, and I was losing patience with
the people who had been hanging around lately.
It was obvious that they had been slowly "moving-in"
and now thought that it was now "their" place.
They did nothing but consume, contributing nothing but drama
and sloth. Moving out was the only way I could get rid of
Despite all that, I still had some of the most intense and
creative periods of my life that apartment.
I moved to a smaller place on La Sierra and Hole Avenues for
a month. Kurt joined me, but I couldn't stand it anymore.
It wasn't long before I wound up back in Mira Loma. Only this
time I was living in an abandoned chicken coop.
I had nothing to lose.
In June 1981, I moved to Hollywood.