Back to Showtimes

How to throw an Oscars party, according to The Grand Cinema

Prizes, food, drink, good company and a big-ass screen

The Weekly Volcano snuck into last year's VIP Room at The Grand Cinema's Academy Awards Party. We stuffed our faces with tasty morsels from Maxwell's Speakeasy.

When in Hollywood, the red carpet likes to spend its off hours playing touch machines and smoking cigarettes at bars along Sunset. When in Tacoma, the red carpet likes to be stepped on by high heels and Converse, escalating partygoers into The Grand Cinema's presentation of the Academy Awards.

The event, held Sunday, March 2 at the Broadway Center's Theatre on the Square, will be an interactive good time for all. With prizes, food, drink and good company, the evening is one for making memories.

"I'm most excited for the overall energy of the theater," said Zach Powers, marketing director for The Grand. "It's a totally different experience to watch the Oscars with a group of fellow film fans. You've got people cheering for their favorite films, laughing together at the jokes and reacting to surprising winners together. It's pretty similar to the differing experiences of watching your favorite sports team by yourself or watching with a party full of people. The difference is there really isn't a culture of folks gathering in large groups to watch the Oscars, so we, and art-house theaters like us all over the country, seize the opportunity to throw fun parties to celebrate the year that was in film and watch the awards on a big screen."

The 86th Annual Academy Awards will be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, and Powers says he's not sure there's a better fit in show business for the gig.

"When she hosted in 2007, she was hilarious and charming, and for her effort she earned an Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program." So she has a track record of killing it," he said. "The audience for the Oscars, same as the attendees of our Oscar party, runs a very wide gamut of ages and cultural sensibilities, so I think the host needs to be someone who has a proven track record of broad appeal comedy. Ellen is essentially second to none when it comes to mass appeal comedy."

A great venue, a great show and a great host. What else could there be?

Oh yes, food and prizes.

"Every guest who arrives at the party prior to the awards beginning is invited to fill out an entire ballot," explained Powers. "We collect this promptly by the start of the awards. The prize for the most correct awards predictions is a Golden Ticket, which is an unlimited pass to movies at The Grand for a full year. It's a rare prize for us to award; we only award out a couple of them each year."

There are also prizes for winners of a costume contest, where participants dress in their best film-related costume. The Grand Prize is $200 to the Melting Pot, and the runner-up prize will be a Grand Cinema pack that includes four free movie passes, a bucket of popcorn and coffee mug.

Food and drink are included in the ticket price and will be provided by some of Tacoma's best flavors, such as Maxwell's, Cloverleaf Pizza, Corina Bakery and Wingman Brewers.

ACADEMY AWARDS PARTY, 5 p.m., Sunday, March 2, Theatre on the Square, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, $15-$90, 253.593.4474

comments powered by Disqus