Traditionally, spotlights and red carpets are seen on Oscar night as the Miami Beach Cinematheque uses the occasion to throw their annual big fundraiser. But this year, the film society ditched the red carpet in favor of a cozy celebration.
"We're celebrating Oscar night in a different way this year," said Dana Keith, the film society's founder and director. "For 20 years, we've held big fundraising Oscar parties, but this year, we decided to do something different and instead host a fun, family affair."
This year's Oscar party was "b.y.o.," instead of catered. But not to worry - the tables inside the Washington Avenue art house were covered in sumptuous dishes, ranging from salmon platters to leg of lamb, the wine flowed freely, and the occasional pop of a champagne cork was heard.
The tradition of holding Oscar parties is as old as the Miami Beach Film Society itself, which began as part of the drive shabby Art Deco district, when no one dreamed it would become the cornerstone of one of the world's trendiest locales. And the fundraising succeeded; the Miami Beach Cinematheque opened in 2003 on Espanola Drive and moved in 2011 to its present tonier digs located inside historic City Hall.
There is also now an outdoor cafe, which is open on nights films are shown, and plans are underway to add a "Made in Miami," tour, which would take sightseers to locations where well-known films were shot.
"A lot of people think Miami Beach's film history began with 'Scarface,' but there were films made here right from the beginning, in the early 1900s, and we want to celebrate them," said Keith. Plans also include an after dark "adults only" version of more infamous film locales, like where the iconic movie "Deep Throat," was shot, he added.
The tours are still in the planning stage. In the meantime, film buffs will have to content themselves with the regular bill of foreign, independent and classic film retrospectives for now, and for an Oscar party where, says Keith, "we just chilled."
More info: Miami Beach Cinematheque