Tampa Theater Rolls Out Red Carpet for the Oscars

Monday, February 23, 2015

Legs drape from the limousine onto the red carpet, fans are cheering behind the red velvet stanchions and the paparazzi are asking arriving attendees to turn and smile for the camera.  They are talking to you. Yes You!

Welcome to the Oscar viewing party at the Tampa theater. But this is no ordinary viewing party.  The hotel, built in 1927, leverages its historic roots and time period architecture and marquee to cleverly recreate the Oscars experience from Hollywood, California to Tampa, Florida.  The cities have much in common--warm weather and palm trees...

Local residents, movie goers, fashionistas, celebrity sycophants, aspiring actors, musicians and directors are encouraged to dress in the time period or as their favorite actor, which means you are the center of attention.

This year I attended with a local friend.   To experience the event to the fullest, we hired professional makeup artists and chose dresses to match our inner Oscar attitude. A decophile, I chose to dress in the time period while my friend Fallon chose a fashionable contemporary dress. We were a hit.

The event was everything we imagined. First the informalities.  Upon arrival we headed to the ticket office to show proof of purchase. Then we were directed to a short line where a limousine scooped us up for a ride around the neighborhood and dropped us off at the foot of the red carpet.

Christine Michaels & Fallon Kubecka in limousine
on their way to Oscar viewing party

Christine Michaels & Fallon Kubecka descend from limousine.
Paparazzi await

The cheers roared as we sauntered down the red carpet. Fans feverishly called out our names and eagerly reached out in hopes of obtaining an autograph.

In true progression, as we unpeeled ourselves from the hands and grabs of fans, Fallon and I walked towards the entrance of the theater when emcee Roan Jivers (a spoof of comedienne Joan Rivers), approached us for the customary "who are you wearing?" and other Oscar line of questioning. Her response. "Fabulous dahling, fabulous".

Fallon Kubecka, emcee Roan Jivers, and Christine Michaels

Roan Jivers interviews me, Christine Michaels
This Joan look -alike was dressed and performed true to character. After the formal interview, Roan took me aside and whispered to me--"with a name and body like that you are a celebrity!"  I wanted to take her home and hire her as my personal cheerleader. God bless her.
Before mingling with other attendees and settling down, a primping station afforded a stylist to refresh our hair and makeup.
And so it was back to flashing cameras as we made our way to the bar and mingling with other invitees. Popcorn was gratuitous and wine could be purchased to elevate the experience.
Fallon posing with former Oscar nominees
 Posing for photos can be exhausting.  The life of an actor is no easy street.
More paparazzi photo requests

Watching the Oscars inside the Tampa Theater
Little did I know many Oscar-nominated actresses
 were wearing red lipstick.
There is no escaping the paparazzi even on the way to restroom.
Actors have no privacy in public eye.
"We would like to thank the academy..."  Ok I was ready to play the part all the way. Fallon and I are definitely not shy and public speaking is part of our repertoire. 
We thoroughly enjoyed the event and evening and recommend planning a trip to Tampa next year as part of your winter getaway and Oscar fix. Congratulations to all the winners including the Tampa Theater. Your participation supports this historic landmark.
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