One of the most popular of all Los Angeles attractions is also its most exclusive – the Academy Awards, more commonly known as The Oscars, will hold its 85th awards ceremony on Sunday, February 24th. Less than 4,000 people attend the ceremony, held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, while more than 30 million viewers tune in to see who will take home awards for Best Actor/Actress in a Leading Role, Best Director, and of course, Best Picture.
Luckily, you can still walk the red carpet, grab a photo of an Oscar-winner, and watch the live ceremony for much less than the cost of a ticket to the Dolby Theatre. Here’s a look at how you can celebrate the Oscar season in Los Angeles:
Celebrate with the Academy
The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences has come up with a set of events that celebrate everything Oscar, from the glamor of the red carpet to the films themselves. Oscar Celebrates is a series of programs held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater which was designed specifically by the Academy to provide visitors with the best movie viewing experience technically possible. As described by the Academy:
The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is a world-class theater custom-designed to present films at maximum technical accuracy with state-of-the-art projection equipment and sound system. The theater’s 1,012 seats also have been specially designed and placed to create a movie-viewing environment that is ideal in terms of acoustical quality, sightlines and comfort.
Combine this exceptional viewing experience with past Oscar winners and current nominees, and you have one of Oscar week’s most star-studded events open to the public. And did I mention each Oscar Celebrates event is only $5 or less?
Highlights of Oscar Celebrates include the screening of the 2012 Short Film winners with actor Jason Schwartzman, of Rushmore fame, and a discussion with 2013 nominated makeup artists and hairstylists from movies like Hitchcock, The Hobbit, and Les Miserables. The events are spread out over the week of the 18th, and tickets go on sale starting February 1st on the Academy’s official website.
You Be the Judge: Costumes, Sets, and More
Are you still upset that The Artist beat out The Help for Best Picture at last year’s ceremony? It’s your turn to be the judge of what’s best at the Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising (FDIM) and Universal Studios Hollywood. This year FDIM brings back it’s annual showcase of costumes nominated in the Best Costume Design category as well as winners from years past. The event runs from February 12 – April 27, giving you the opportunity to decide who deserves the Oscar before the Academy makes its decision on February 24.
Another destination for visitors seeking popular Los Angeles attractions, Universal Studios Hollywood offers both its Studio Tour and VIP experience for any movie buff interested in visiting the industry’s busiest sets. The Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood chauffeurs visitors around 13 city blocks including Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives and the Bates Motel from Psycho. The VIP Experience takes it one step further with a tour of Universal’s award-winning sound department and prop warehouse – not to mention actual sound stages used in the industry today.
Party with the Stars
If you’re dying to rub elbows with the stars, skip a viewing party with your friends to attend one of the many charity functions in Los Angeles during Oscar week. Global Green’s Annual Pre-Oscar party is one of the best to attend if you’re after big names – this year’s host committee includes Helen Hunt and Dylan McDermott. Tickets range from $125-1250, and sales benefit Global Green USA’s work to build greener, more resilient homes, school, and communities in areas effected by Hurricane Sandy.
Tolkien fans will also be hosting an Oscar viewing party to celebrate The Hobbit‘s three nominations this year. Called The One Expected Party, this all-night event boasts two buffets, a live Oscar screening, and best of all, a performance by Billy Boyd (who played Pippin in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) himself and his band Beecake. Party-goers will also be treated to LOTR-themed performances, auctions, and more. Tickets are $250.