Twenty years – to the day! – since the original Rex Manning Day, BBQ Films BBQ Films transformed Williamsburg’s Rough Trade NYC into the legendary Empire Records for three nights–including all the staff and characters you’ve come to love (and hate).
Attendees joined Lucas and his couch cushion, boss Joe (and his not-to-be-touched drum set!), Gina, AJ, Warren, Corey, Debra, Eddie, Mitch, and, of course, the man of the hour, Rex Manning. Party guests could watch a screening of the film, pose with Rex Manning in a “Say No More” photo booth, make their own snarky buttons to wear, veto DJ songs, and even shave their heads just like Debra. A few guests even ventured into the break room to glue quarters to the floor with AJ and attended their own mock funeral with the cast.
Complete with a live brownie-fueled intermission featuring Gwar–yes THE Gwar!–Ethan Embry (Wednesday, Thursday) and Johnny Whitworth (Wednesday, Friday) awarded “experience” raffle prizes, of which a portion of proceeds went to Opening Act, a nonprofit that creates free after-school theater programs for under-served NYC public high schools.
All three sold-out evenings featured locals bands and DJs playing 90s covers, including a rendition of “Sugar High” where a lucky guest was invited on stage to live out her own “Gina” moment. At the end of three nights, one thing was certain: We surely damned the man. And we definitely saved the Empire.