Entertaining: How to throw an Oscars viewing party

By Columbus Alive
From the February 23, 2012 edition

The annual awards ceremony honoring Hollywood’s best output from the past year airs this Sunday. The Oscars inspire viewing parties that are — at least to the cinematically inclined — the equivalent of watching the Super Bowl with a group of fellow die-hard (or “Die Hard”!) fans. If you’re throwing a party this weekend, here are some ways to get your soiree started.

Host efficiently: Some tips

Event planner Lisa Sullivan of Lisa Sullivan Events is pretty tenacious when it comes to her own Oscars parties. “I’m kind of a stickler for silence,” she said. Thus, we asked her for some tips on hosting a viewing party that appeases the avid award watchers and the guests who think “Sex and the City 2” is underrated.

- “Make sure there’s plenty of food, but keep it simple so people can eat it in front of the TV. My biggest tip would be quiet foods only. You don’t want guests chomping on chips and salsa in the middle of the Best Actor announcement. Suggestions: deviled eggs, cream of wheat, pudding. I’m kidding. But only slightly.”

- “Organize plenty of comfortable seating around the TV for your most dedicated guests. I’d station the food and bar as far from the TV as possible. If this can be in another room, even better. The food and bar will end up being the social area so you don’t want to annoy the serious Oscars watchers.”

- “Commercials are your friend. That’s when people are allowed to talk. Now’s the time to bust out your Oscar Bingo or other games.”

- “If you’re invited to my Oscars parties, you don’t have to like the Oscars or even movies. My only rule when deciding who to have over is can this person control him or herself to eat and drink in silence for three hours?”

Feed your guests

Preferably feed them with dishes that reference Best Picture winners of years past. Have your guests guess which winning movie each dish represents. Here are some examples.

1- Golden onion rings (the more precious the onion, the better).

2- Ribs (preferably served with a punch to the face and power ballads).

3- Shrimp and chocolate platters (the best of what life is like).

4- Brie cheeseburgers (sing and dance while serving).

Answers: 1) “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” 2) “Rocky” 3) “Forrest Gump” 4) “An American in Paris.”

Let someone else throw the party

Or, avoid party clean-up and go to someone else’s party. Here are some open-to-the public Oscar viewing parties worth attending.

Drexel Theatre

6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26

2254 E. Main St., Bexley

drexel.net

Food from local restaurants, best-dressed awards and the broadcast on the big screen. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

Grandview Theatre

7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26

1247 Grandview Ave., Grandview

grandviewtheatre.net

Free.

Gateway Film Center

Pre-party: 5-7 p.m.

Showing: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26

1550 N. High St., Campus

gatewayfilmcenter.com

Free for the showing. Tickets to the pre-party are $25 and include catered food from Cameron Mitchell, a cash bar and a viewing of the red carpet pre-show.