“It is just a, you know, one screen theater, one screen thing, and so the entire theater is totally packed, mostly with young people, you know, people in their twenties and thirties. And it’s just like packed. And we sit behind this group of college kids who explain to us that there is certain things that you have to do when certain scenes come up or when certain things come on screen and that one of the most important things is that you throw spoons when there is this picture of a spoon like sitting on the mantle of one of the things in the apartment and so they actually gave us some spoons so that we could do that. So we all four were sitting there going like ‘okay. What have we gotten ourselves into?’ And the movie starts and it is just ridiculous. And we suddenly … it is kinda like Rocky Horror Picture Show, where everybody has their certain things that they say so like when there is water shown, you know the ocean or something like that, everybody in the room screams water. Or, there is a bunch of parts where two of the main characters are throwing a football around so they throw a football. There’s all sorts of stuff like that throughout the entire movie, which is ridiculous in and of itself, so by the end of the night, we realized that this is some sort of like phenomenon that we’ve happened upon that none of us really knew what we were getting into.”
The informant was explaining the first time she went to see “The Room,” but has since been ten or more times since.
Before her first time going to see it though, she had known nothing about it, except that it was a film that something called “Rifftrax” had done (it is a website that has three guys watching a movie and making fun of it on a track you can play alongside the film at home). When she was a sophomore at USC, she saw an ad for a screening of the “The Room” in Westwood Village and asked her roommate if she would go with her. However, the movie screening started at 12am, so they decided it would be better to get a bigger group and asked the two guys that lived across the hall from them.
When the four of them got to the screening, they immediately saw people dressed up as characters from the film and reanacting scenes from the film, making them realize that this screening was a much bigger thing than they had believed. They also learned it was screened there every first Saturday of the month. The theater was filled with people between in their thirties, but also a lot of college students because of it being near two huge universities. It became clear to the informant that a lot of the audience members had been going to this for some time. On top of everything, a Scandinavian news program was there interviewing people as to how they came to find it. The four of them realized this wasn’t even just local, but was also known internationally.
After their first experience, the group started taking anyone they could convince to go. The group continued to grow and soon became a regular thing, with their own traditions building along with it of getting desert at Diddy Reese in Westwood Village, then getting tickets and waiting in line.
In regards to the actual screening, the informant explained that what is being yelled or acted out is usually led by a few people who are the loudest, with the rest of the audience following along with them. There are certain things that are always said, but there is also a ton of room for variation. People are always yelling out something entirely of their own, which sometimes will build into the “routine” of sayings.
The informant feels as if she has been accepted into this sort of cult surreptitiously. She felt even more exclusively in the group when the star, director, producer of the movie, Tommy Wiseau, came to a screening to sign autographs and she got her “Room” t-shirt signed by him.
The informant relayed this story to me while driving us back to Los Angeles. This informant is a relative. The informant has also taken me to see “The Room.”
Having personally experienced “The Room,” I can say I also am part of “The Room” group. This is solidified after you go the first time because you definitely feel like an outsider not knowing what or when to say the specific things. I found it to be an extremely fun experience, but I believe that it is made fun because of the group that you create. Inside jokes and memories are made there others will never understand until experiencing it for themselves.