On February 24, the Riedel Dance Theater hosted its second Annual Oscar Screening party at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas, on West 23rd St. in Manhattan. The great and powerful of New York’s film community were there (read: people who could afford the $23 tickets) and a privileged few members of the press (me, the intern of a movie blog armed with a cellphone camera). However, don’t let the glitz and glamour of the event distract you—Seth MacFarlane was hosting the Academy Awards. Our host was Hedda Lettuce, the Queen of Green, so perhaps she could outdo MacFarlane (she did).
The night began with free popcorn and soda, which is fantastic when you haven’t eaten dinner after running to catch a train. The theater lobby where the event was screened was decked out with a red carpet and posters from the nominated movies. The effect was quite awesome. You could also have your picture taken in front of your favorite film of the night, on the red carpet. It was nothing like the real thing, but it was all for laughs anyway. The theater itself was also quite nice, with a set on the stage for Hedda Lettuce to host from, complete with a few movie props and clichés like director’s chairs, and finally very nicely padded and comfortable seats for the audience.
If you’re reading this, then you no doubt remember what happened at the Oscars and who won what and what dresses everyone wore (dresses seemed to be on everyone’s mind that night, which is funny because usually I never notice them). What made the difference were our host and the crowd itself. Everyone laughed along at some of the ridiculousness and pageantry of the show, the jokes of both hosts and really this communal effort to get together and celebrate our love for the cinema. Hedda in particular was hilarious, constantly making jokes about it being “Hollywood’s Biggest Night” in a hushed voice, or point out Samuel L. Jackson’s ‘are you serious’ facial expression in every crowd shot.
I was happy to be there on Hollywood’s Biggest Night and will look into going again next year. Watching the Academy Awards on TV is one thing, but in a theater packed to the brim with other moviegoers (and for charity) made it all the more spectacular and eventful. The prizes and free popcorn helped too. Finally, I’d like to thank my parents, my producers, the great people at MoviefiedNYC, the MTA and everyone else who helped get me there so I could receive this wonderful award, whatever it really was.
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