Over the past decade, Charlotte's Oscar Night America gala/fundraiser has bounced from venue to venue to venue.
Ballantyne Resort in 2002. Then to the Hilton. Then the Omni. Then back to the Hilton in 2008, and over to the Belk Theater in '09.
This year, the 11th annual party - scheduled to coincide with the Academy Awards ceremony on ABC Sunday night - is in yet another new location: Mez at the EpiCentre Theatres, a spot that comes closer than any before it to fitting the theme of the evening. And a spot that may solve some problems from past years.
"The feedback was that some people want to party and take the odd glance at what's going on (with the Oscar telecast); other people said even though the party was great, they really missed not being able to see and hear everything," says Dianne Stewart, organizer of the local Oscar Night America bash, which is sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
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So partygoers on Sunday will get a reserved seat in one of the three movie theaters in which Mez will be displaying the live feed of the pre-show and the ceremony. At the same time, the HDTVs in Mez's lounge will carry the action. "Then those who really want to party can do so," Stewart says, "but they won't be disturbing those folks that are in the movie house that actually want to watch the show."
If Mez is as perfect a venue as she hopes, the event may not need to be moved again for a long time....
Stewart expects about 300 guests Sunday. Tickets are $75 per person, and cover cocktails and soft drinks, snacks, desserts, swag bags, and access to a silent auction (featuring a Vespa scooter, entertainment packages and more). All proceeds will benefit United Family Services programs, including support of the construction of a battered women's shelter in Charlotte. The party starts at 7 p.m. with a "red-carpet welcome."
For details, call 704-777-4842 or go to www.ona charlotte.org .