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

Hollywood Boulevard

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While many of the events and celebrity-padded Oscar parties are closed to the general public, there are lots of ways to join in the excitement if you're in Los Angeles in the days surrounding the Academy Awards ceremony, which starts at 5 p.m. on February 9.

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, Oscars.org 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, 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.

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. 

Join KPCC In-Person for the annual AirTalk's FilmWeek Oscars Preview, which will feature discussions of all of the biggest films from this year's nominations on Sunday, February 2, 2020. Tickets must be purchased in advance to attend and the event is likely to sell out.

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.

All panels take place at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills from February 4 to 8, 2020. Tickets can be purchased separately for each night and go on sale January 16, 2020.

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 the nominees you don't hear as much about. In addition to screenings of the nominated documentary, live-action, and animated shorts, the events include panels with the nominated production designers and editors. All screenings take place at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood; tickets are required to attend.

The International Documentary Association's DocuDay LA

Most of the documentary films nominated for Academy Awards have a very limited distribution across the country. However, they are shown one after the other at the Writer's Guild of America Theater in Beverly Hills the day before the Academy Awards, on Saturday, February 8, 2020. This is a part of the annual DocuDay LA festival, which includes Q&A sessions with filmmakers after some of the films.

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 the venue hosts its 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 hosts an annual Red Carpet Oscar Viewing Party starting at noon on the afternoon of the Academy Awards. The awards show is shown live on the big screen following the red carpet party.

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