Guide to the Academy Awards in Los Angeles: Parties, Events, Things to Do

Female celebrity in evening dress talking to fans behind rope barrier
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The 2019 Academy Awards will be held February 24 starting at 5 p.m. While many of the events and Oscar parties surrounding the Academy Awards are closed to the general public, there are lots of ways to join in the excitement if you're in town during Oscar Season.

If you're hoping to get a glimpse of the red carpet in person, you will have to plan your trip far in advance—unless you're a member of the Hollywood acting community. Fortunately, posts a lottery application each fall, usually in October, for the Oscar Fan Experience where applicants are selected at random for bleacher seats on the red carpet.

However, if you weren't lucky enough to win one of those seats for this year, there are some Oscar events everyone can attend. Keep in mind, though, that Hollywood Boulevard is closed down to traffic a full week before the awards, and is even closed to foot traffic the day of the event. So if you don't have an invitation, it's best to stay out of the area on the day.

The Art of Motion Picture Costume Design at FIDM

The Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Downtown LA hosts its annual showcase of Oscar-nominated costumes in the Best Costume Design category. The Free exhibit includes nominated costumes from the current year's nominees as well as the winners for best costume design from the previous year.

FIDM is located at 919 South Grand Street in Downtown Los Angeles at the corner of 9th Street; pay parking is available under the FIDM building, which you can enter the garage off 9th or at street meters or surrounding lots.

89.3 KPCC's "FilmWeek" Oscar Preview 

A week before the Oscars, Larry Mantle of AirTalk on KPCC public radio will convene a panel of film critics to talk about the Oscar hopefuls in front of a live audience at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown. 

On Sunday, February 17, 2019, you can join KPCC In Person for their annual AirTalk's FilmWeek Oscars Preview, which will feature discussions of all of the biggest films from this year's nominations. Tickets must be purchased in advance to attend and cost around 12 dollars each. However, this event is likely to sell out, so be sure to get your tickets in advance if you hope to sit on this yearly discussion of great cinema.

The Academy's Oscar Week Public Events

The week before the Oscars, the Academy hosts a series of evening panels featuring the nominees in the categories of Shorts, Documentaries, Feature Animation, and Foreign Language Film as well as an additional Makeup and Hairstyling Symposium. However, the Shorts category is the only one that screens the entire films while the others will show clips and discuss them with the creators.

All panels will take place at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills from February 19 to 23, 2019. Tickets can be purchased separately for each night—but don't go on sale until February 1 each year.

Nominated Shorts Panel by American Cinematheque

On the Wednesday and Friday before the Academy Awards ceremony, American Cinematheque hosts a similar series of screenings and panels celebrating nominees you don't hear as much about. Wednesday evening they'll be screening nominated documentary shorts; on Friday, they'll be screening live action and animated shorts and have panels with nominated production designers and editors. All screenings take place at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood; tickets are required to attend.

Global Green Pre-Oscar Gala

This fundraiser for Global Green USA is hosted by a different bunch of celebrities every year and will be celebrating its 25th annual event in 2019. The Pre-Oscar Gala is a club party with live music and top LA DJs. Although this event is open to the public, tickets are required to attend, and the lowest price starts at $1,250.

This year the Global Green Pre-Oscar Gala will be held at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on Wednesday, February 20 starting at 6 p.m. The event will kick off with a cocktail supper and reception featuring products from local farms, vineyards, and breweries as well as pop-up performances. Immediately after the dinner, an awards ceremony will be held followed by a live auction and the headline performance.

The International Documentary Association's DocuDay LA

Most of the documentary films nominated for Academy Awards have a very limited distribution across the country, but they will all be shown one after the other on the Saturday before the Oscars at the Writer's Guild of America Theater in Beverly Hills as part of the annual DocuDay LA festival. There will be a Q&A session with filmmakers after some of the films.

Presented by the International Documentary Association, this annual showcase will take place on February 23, 2019, starting at 10 a.m. Tickets are required to attend and cost upward of $75 for an all-access day pass to the event.

Red Carpet Oscar Viewing Party at the Long Beach Art Theatre

Known as the last independent theater in Long Beach, the Art Theatre regularly features documentary, live action, and animation films that are later nominated for the Academy Awards, so it may come as no surprise that they host their own series of events in the week leading up to the ceremony.

Along with screening all the nominees earlier in the week, the Long Beach Art Theatre will host its annual Red Carpet Oscar Viewing Party on February 24, 2019, starting at noon. This viewing party at the Art Theatre is by invitation only, but all you have to do to get an invite is make a $25 or more donation to this historic non-profit theater on Long Beach's Retro Row. The Academy Awards will also be shown live on the big screen following the red carpet party.

APLA's Oscar Viewing Party at the Abbey

West Hollywood's favorite gay restaurant and bar, the Abbey, hosts the annual Aids Project Los Angeles Oscar Viewing Party fundraiser, which will take place on February 24, 2019. The event starts with a red carpet cocktail reception at 4 p.m. and is followed by an optional sit-down dinner for Oscar viewing.

Each year, an LGBT or ally celebrity hosts the event, which raises money for HIV/AIDS research that APLA supports. Tickets are required to attend but can also be purchased at The Abbey on the day of the Academy Awards.

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