The 20th anniversary of Rex Manning Day, the annual holiday where Americans get together and wail “No Live Tyler, don’t do it, don’t throw yourself at Rex Manning!” is coming. How are you going to celebrate? If your answer was “Watch Empire Records alone,” we have a more social option for you: head to Rough Trade Records, which is going to be turned into a full-scale replica of Empire Records by BBQ Films, to celebrate the nostalgic capstone for a generation of people who thought working at a record store was the coolest job you could ever have (before they all started music blogs and downloading music).
The celebration of all things Empire will happen on April 8, the 20th anniversary of the release of Empire Records, and will have all sorts of throwbacks to the iconic film that BBQ Films’ immersions have done before. For $42, you can enjoy things like a head-shaving station (first five who take the plunge drink for free), a Rex Manning photobooth and a chance to get his autograph even though he’s such a jerk. Plus there’ll be a screening of the movie and a set from the Empire house band, although Renée Zellweger is probably a little too busy to show up to sing.
Will you also have the chance to be eaten alive by a Gwar Hellworm puppet, be the kind of charming shoplifter who gets to join the staff at the end or get to make a dramatic speech to the girl you love? No word on that, but we’d caution against shoplifting. It might be a total immersion that tuns Rough Trade into Empire Records, but “No it’s cool I was doing a thing from a 90s movie” only gets you credit on BuzzFeed listicles, not in front of a judge at Kings County Criminal Court.