photo courtesy of Along Came Mary
Living in Hollywood for over 45 years the entire award season is a time of wonder and glamour. I’m a movie buff. I love the movies. I always have. The thing that turned my business around was when 5 years after I had opened ALONG CAME MARY I was hired to do the first off site premier in history behind the Mann’s Chinese Theater under an enormous constructed tented pavilion for the premiere of Popeye in 1980.
The Paramount executives were changing the course of premiere history. Off- site premieres along with red carpets in front of the theater and the media buzz that reached television, newspapers and magazines was so impactful in promoting their movies. This was the beginning. ALONG CAME MARY, the chosen caterer, along with the Disney design team, set the standard for movie premieres for decades to follow.
There are so many award season memories from over the years. To think about the upcoming award shows and know we won’t get to have memories and moments like this is terribly upsetting. These are nights and milestones that need to be celebrated! Everything this year will be much more scaled back and a large portion is going to be done virtually.
We’ll make the most of what we’ve got and you can bet we’ll still be celebrating. But it is nice to reminisce about happier times, bigger events, and think about how things will be again.
One night I remember so vividly is the Titanic Oscar party that ALONG CAME MARY catered and produced in 1998. When we were hired we had no idea that the movie was going to win an extraordinary amount of awards that night, including best picture, but from the buzz about the film we knew it was going to be a big night.
The movie was so spectacular and the acting was superb. It is and was one of those movies you don’t easily forget. It had a young Leo, James Cameron directing, and the stunning Kate. I remember hearing about the Titanic as a kid. It is a story that has stayed with us for centuries. It was a huge movie and the party needed to be memorable as well.
Paramount hired us to throw a party that would start before the Oscars ceremony. 400 people would be invited to view the movie and after the Oscars the actors, execs, producers, creatives and other members from the film who were at the Oscars would join on site for the after party.
There weren’t a lot of open venues that night that could hold a party that large, a lot of places were booked out, so we rented a parking lot on Canon in Beverly Hills. We set up a tent and it was so beautifully decorated. It was gorgeous. We hung huge period chandeliers throughout and swagged gorgeous fabric. We had flowers, so many flowers. There were orchids, roses, hydrangeas and calla lily’s all beautifully composed.
Lighting is so important when designing the interior of a tent or any venue. In this case it set a beautifully romantic mood.
We had a “big” band that played great music. It made the evening that much more celebratory. The food was thematic. We had caviar on blinis, a huge seafood display, oysters and smoked salmon. There were carving stations throughout the tent and the most beautiful delicious desserts. We created champagne towers and bars serving everything from Bourbon on the rocks to martinis, and so much more.
When they won best picture it became THE after party that everyone wanted to go to. Our guest list went out the window and we had more people coming than we ever could have expected. We had over 400 people in the tent and easily another 1,000 who joined for the after party portion. It was the party of the evening, if not the decade.
What a night. Looking forward to when catering and event production is back and we can celebrate again.