Theater Location: 1900 East Riverside, Austin, Texas
Theater Open Date: June 1973
Theater Status: Closed
- The Roxy Cast (1980 cast based in San Antonio)
- Creatures of the Night
The Riverside Twin II was a two auditorium theater, where the smaller of the two became third in the list of The First 30 US Theaters to show The Rocky Horror Picture Show exclusively as midnight movie. It was also one of the 10 other theaters that had a original general release opening of the film after the debut week at the UA Westwood in October, 1975.
The Riverside Cinema Company opened the Riverside Twin Theater in Austin Texas in June of 1973, primarily intended to serve the college crowds in the East Riverside area. From the day it opened, it had troubles with repeated vandalism and graffiti. It didn't help that a projectionists' union strike was happening when it opened, making it a prime location for striking workers.
In May of 1976, the Riverside Twin II became one of three theaters in the US to have an engagement of The Rocky Horror Picture Show as an ongoing, midnight movie. The first was the Waverly Theater where it had opened a month before, and the Varsity Theatre in St.Louis, MO where it opened a few weeks earlier in a prime-time run followed by a midnight engagement. The run at the Riverside Twin was so successful, that in October of 1976, there was a week of prime-time screenings of the film as well. In September, 1977, The Riverside Twin I added midnight showings as well, remaining successful in both auditoriums through the late 1970s. Both auditoriums hold the distinction of being among The First 30 US Theaters in the growing phenomenon.
The first named cast at the Riverside Twin was named The Roxy Cast. The group was based out of neighboring Northwest Theater in San Antonio, but traveled between the two venues beginning in 1980, at the height of Rocky's popularity. Because of the theater's venerable status in Rocky Horror history, the theater was the site of the Shock Treatment premiere in September, 1981 which included a parade and appearance by Richard O'Brien. The Rocky Horror Picture Show ended its run at the Riverside Twin in March of 1985 after a decline in attendance, partially because the film had spread to several other theaters in the area, splitting the audience.
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