Whatever happened to Saturday night? It's back, as The Rocky Horror Picture Show returns to the Bay Area after a five-year absence. Regularly scheduled midnight showings will begin this month at the Clay Theater in San Francisco and in January at Landmark's Guild Theater in Menlo Park, according to a press release issued by Landmark Theaters.

The live performance group Bawdy Caste will be accompanying screenings at both theaters, combining the theatrical and the cinematical with their on-stage antics.

Made in 1975 by director Jim Sharman, the film is a rock musical about a transsexual from Transylvania (Tim Curry) who sexually awakens two stranded teenage travelers, Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon). Pop star Meat Loaf also appears. The film fit perfectly into the midnight movie phenomenon of the early 1970s, begun by films such as El Topo, The Harder They Come and Pink Flamingos. But Rocky Horror became a phenomenon all its own, inspiring an entire subculture.

The film has not shown in San Francisco in some ten years. Much has changed since then, including the film's release on DVD, the rise of the internet and the official Rocky Horror fan page. Here, viewers can learn all the call-and-response cues at which to shout out one-liners ("Say It!"; "Not Meat Loaf again," etc.) or hurl props (rice, newspapers, paper plates, etc.). But any true fan would warn that the only way to see it is live, in the theater.

I'm already shivering with aniticip... ("SAY IT!!!")... ation.