In the 1995 film Empire Records, employees of the eponymous record store marked April 8 at “Rex Manning Day,” when the fictitious has-been pop star would visit the record store. Manning was loathed by the staff of Empire Records. On April 8, 2015, Rough Trade Records in Williamsburg transformed into Empire Records to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film and recreate Rex Manning Day, in a production presented by BBQ Films, who have also brought classic movie scenes (The Under the Sea dance from Back to the Future) to life in New York. Actors Ethan Embry (who played Mark in the film) and Johnny Whitworth (who played A.J.) showed up, as did GWAR. A second Rex Manning Day was added due to popular demand. Photos by Nate “Igor” Smith for the Village Voice.
BBQ Films and Rough Trade NYC Toast Twenty Years of Empire Records by Zoe Leverant