He wasn't at the first screening of Rocky Horror at the Cedar Lee — he was recovering from knee surgery at the time — but he was there for the second. And he became a regular after that.
Now, 31 years later, Kev Boycik serves as the host for the screenings that take place at midnight on the first Saturday of every month.
Right before a recent showing, Boycik, who, with his sideburns and thick-rimmed glasses looks like a young Elvis Costello, runs to the front of the theater, microphone in hand. When he gets there, he welcomes patrons and then brings all the "virgins" in the audience up to the front of the room for a friendly hazing.
"Give us your best fake orgaaaaaasm," he intones as he hands the mic to each person. After their attempts, he playfully mocks their moans and groans and calls Opal, the theater's veteran ticket taker, into the theater to help him judge the performances.
Boycik then runs through the 10 "rules" that fans must obey to avoid "premature ejaculation" from the theater. Patrons traditionally throw rice and toast during the screening, but Boycik wants to make sure they don't damage the screen. "You break it, you buy it," he warns. And he encourages everyone to stay seated during the screening since a local cast that calls itself Simply His Servants will perform a live floor show and act out scenes from the flick.
"Because it's been at the Cedar Lee for so long, it's become generational," Boycik says when asked about the campy movie's appeal. "I can't tell you how many people come up to me and say, 'This is my son,' or they say, 'This is my daughter.' Two months ago, there was a group that included a grandmother and her son and his son. They had all grown up seeing Rocky Horror at the Cedar Lee."
A manager at Cleveland Cinemas, Boycik says attendance for the midnight showings continues to be strong and that audiences still actively participate, shouting out alternative lines of dialogue and song lyrics throughout the screening.
"For some people, it's a rite of passage that they need to get out of their system," he says. "Other people come to it and they never leave. Because of what the country is like right now, there are people who need a little bit of political incorrectness and a space to act like deviants and weirdos. Fortunately, The Rocky Horror Picture Show still works. It used to be just white college kids, but now we get white, black, straight, gay and trans people. It's a great group of people that shows up. It's like a social thing, and this place kind of turns into a nightclub."