Oscar Party Draws 200 to Colonial Theatre
Members donned their formal best—or pajamas—for the annual members party at the Colonial Sunday evening.
Members of The Colonial Theatre headed out for a night of glitz and glamour to celebrate the 84th Annual Academy Awards.
While there's a lot of fun in dressing up as film characters, munching on hors d' oeuvres and participating in Oscar trivia, one of the most important aspects of the Colonial's annual Oscar Party is the sense of community that comes with watching the big show together on the big screen.
On Sunday night, 200 people attended the party. They had the chance to pose in front of a 1930 Ford Model A Roadster brought by Cliff Wilson. In front of the car parked outside the theater, members strutted on the red carpet as professional photographer Pat Tracz snapped photos that could be picked up later in the night.
During commercial breaks in the Oscar broadcast on the big screen, hosts Diane Canney and John Young entertained the crowd with raffle pulls and Academy Awards trivia for all ages. Trivia winners received miniature Oscar statues and gift certificates donated by local businesses.
As usual, there were moments you would miss out on if you were sitting at home watching the broadcast from your couch. After Octavia Spencer took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, she thanked the entire state of Alabama. The following commerical break, the band Oscar and the Colonials performed a rousing rendition of "Sweet Home Alabama" that had the audience smiling and singing along with the familiar lyrics.
When Rise of the Planet of the Apes got the nod for Best Visual Effects, Lou Amici, who was dressed as an ape from the film, stood up in the aisle and waved a banana. During a musical performance while the broadcast was on commercial break, singer Cliff Hillis jumped off the stage and swept up Beth Lennon to dance an impromptu waltz in front of the crowd.
The costume contest was a big hit, and members donned everything from Bridesmaids attire to a full-on Rango costume from the film that won Best Animated Feature. Several members wore garb like the characters in the silent film (and Best Picture winner) The Artist.
Though there was only one costume contest this year, for best movie-related costume, members were still invited to show up in pajamas or formal wear, and many chose to go that route.
Nothing really beats wearing green facepaint, however, and Ben Richards, who showed up as Rango, took home the award for best costume. He received a bracelet, earrings, a necklace and a ring from the party's sponsor, Calhoun Jewelers.
With Elizabeth Taylor's passing, Cathy Calhoun of Calhoun Jewelers whipped out a white fur coat given to Taylor by Richard Burton. She revealed during the pre-show that the diamond necklace worn by Canney had also belonged to Taylor.
In the lobby, members donated money to the theater association and received the sweet treat of a Calhoun Cupcake. One of every five cupcakes contained a gem baked inside (in a protective bag, of course). One of the many cupcakes contained a cubic zirconium, which could be traded in for a diamond.
Near the end of the evening, Canney and Young announced that no one had picked the diamond cupcake, and members headed out to the lobby to try their luck again. As of Monday afternoon, no one had come forward to claim the diamond, according to Kirsten Van Vlandren, assistant director at The Colonial Theatre.
"No word yet on the diamond, but a lot of cupcakes went home with people and weren't eaten here," Van Vlandren said Monday afternoon.
The annual Oscar Party, in its eighth year, is open solely to members of The Colonial Theatre. For more information on memberships, visit the theatre's website.
If you have photos from the party, feel free to add them to the gallery above.