March 03, 2014

Hollywood's Biggest Night, at the Million Dollar Theatre

After having first toured it about a year ago, I was glad to return to the Million Dollar Theatre in Downtown LA's Historic Broadway District for a real public event. After all, the best way to save these theaters is by actually using them.

And what better way to use it than to celebrate Hollywood's biggest night with a glittery live simulcast of the Oscars awards ceremony, red carpet attire (modern or vintage) encouraged?

We even had a paparazzo stationed at a step-and-repeat for our arrivals.

It was nice to see the lobby filled with audience members dressed in all types of garb...

...including a couple in Oscar nominee costumes.

It took me a long time to take a seat — or stay in one — being more inclined to wander the hallways and climb the stairs up to the balcony level, reminding myself of the opulence of Sid Grauman's early masterpiece, that pre-dated the Chinese and Egyptian theaters in Hollywood.

It was the perfect event for me, with no TV but always looking for a social viewing opportunity for awards shows and major sporting events. And having a number of fancy dresses and not enough places to wear them.

For another couple that I met who flew into town for this event, the draw was almost more obvious: "I just love old buildings," the woman said.

I hear you, sister.

It felt right to see Leo and Matt and Bradley and Brad in their tuxes on the big screen at the Million Dollar...

...seats filled with spectators...

...our own tuxedoed hosts welcoming us to the festivities.

During the ceremony, we cheered. We hooted and hollered. We laughed, commiserated, toasted champagne, and snacked on popcorn and M&Ms. The ceremony host, presenters and winners on the screen couldn't hear us, but it didn't matter. We were — together — all part of the event, as much as those who were actually at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, less than eight miles away.

When the last award was handed out, I didn't quite know what to do with myself. They'd run out of champagne long ago. Last call had passed. Everyone was filtering out of the auditorium, down from the balcony, back to their cars to go  home. But I wanted to stay. There's never enough party for me.

But after lingering for a bit, I accepted defeat and exited the front lobby doors, pausing briefly for a photo in front of the backlit, red lettered marquee, I in my fur.

Now I just can't wait til next year.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: The Million Dollar, Sid Grauman's First Movie House
Partying Like It's 1922 at The Egyptian Theatre

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