Everything that 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

On 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 CA.
That's on the south side of Sunset Boulevard, just west of La Cienaga Boulevard.
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 Cooper.
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 Lodge.
From 1958 to 1964, the restaurant, along with the building that became the Tiffany, was featured in every episode
of "77 Sunset Strip".
Across the street was Ben Franks, the legendary restaurant, landmark, and Hollywood watering hole.
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 parlor/whorehouse.

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 rooms 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.

Lisa 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.
featuring 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.

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA

Video Courtesy of Lisa Kurtz Sutton

On 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 nights.
The Tiffany's regular cast members eventually became known simply as "The Tiffany Troupe".
The line-up changed a few times over the years. It was a very competitive place.
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" and "Science Fiction Double Feature Reprise".
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 and vitality.
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 County.
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.

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA
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.

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA
May 1980

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA
May 1980

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA
May 1980

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA
May 1980

Garrett Gafford had been there since the film started playing at The Tiffany.
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 operation.
Garrett had groupies. She had a huge following. The girls loved her.

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA
From The Collection Of D. Garrett Gafford

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA
Photo Courtesy of Lisa Kurtz Sutton

Terri 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.

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA

Another hardcore fan and friend was Dawn Morrison. A stunningly beautiful woman.
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.

Tiffany Theater
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.

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA

THE DENTON AFFAIR from The Cove Theater in Hermosa Beach were our friends. I loved that bunch!
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, Michele 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.

Cove Theater
Hermosa Beach CA

Cove Theater
Hermosa Beach CA

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA

Steve 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 was a fixture at the front of the line every week. He originally started as the understudy for Richard for Riff-Riff, but he soon 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. Steve was banned from the Tiffany for 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.

(I know "Beetlejuice" was released in 1988, but this is such a great picture.)

Other 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.

One 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 Bus!"
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!"

Sunset Strip
West Hollywood CA
Photo Courtesy of Lisa Kurtz Sutton

Around 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 glass doors.
Many people passed out before they even got in the door, but it was worth it if you got in.

Inside 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 Bostwick.
Then came the rush for seats. After everyone was seated, the show started.
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.

Then 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"
Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA
From The Collection Of D. Garrett Gafford

There was one other very special thing about the Tiffany.
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 ROCKY HORROR.
She was beautiful. A Goddess in every sense of the word. I was a very lucky man.

I 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" and "mainstream".
The goons that wanted to kill us a year before were now showing us respect.
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 costumes.
We started seeing more families coming to the show. It was good for us and good for the theater.

But 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 Riverside.
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. We would ride the RTA 1 bus from Tyler Mall to the old Downtown Riverside Terminal. From there we'd hop on the SCRTD 496 bus from Riverside to the RTD Station in Downtown LA, and then catch the 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.

It wasn't long before the night two 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.

1981. 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.

Los Angeles CA
February 21, 1981

The next day, we attended another of Rick's events, the "Semi-Annual Transylavanian Convention".
ROCKY HORROR fans from all over California showed up. The day of the convention, I met a beautiful Trixie from San Diego.
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 Trixie.
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 DENTON AFFAIR.
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.

On February 24, 1981, an "Original Production" of "THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW" opened at the Aquarius Theatre.
"Original Production" meant that it used Sue Blane's costumes, Brian Thomson's set design, etc.
We were so excited...we had never seen the play before!
We all went on opening night. There was a lot of press! I met Lou Adler! We wound up on TV!

Frank 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 reprising his role from the Original Roxy Cast, Kim Milford as 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 world.
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 "Castle" in La Sierra closed up shop for good. It had a good run. But it had gotten old.
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 them.

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.

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