Oscar viewing parties raise community coin

Local ABC affils participate in each city event

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has announced that 45 cities across the country will host Oscar Night America, a grassroots program now in its second decade that has raised $12 million for local charities around the U.S.

In addition, Acad tapped Robert Z. Shapiro as senior executive consultant to the 77th Academy Awards telecast producer Gil Cates.

In each host city of Oscar Night America, a viewing party is held that hopes to re-create some of the Hollywood glamour and Oscar excitement through the use of official Academy Awards programs, posters and logos.

Since 1994, the program has generated money for a wide variety of local organizations, with all the money staying in the communities of the host cities.

This year the cities participating include Cincinnati; Little Rock, Ark.; Greenville, S.C.; Miami; and Washington, D.C.

Dressed to chill

Formal wear is required at most of the parties, and though there is a live broadcast of the kudofest at each event, there are local touches. Some parties invite guests to dress up as famous couples, some include limousine arrivals and red carpets, and some even go so far as to include “paparazzi” and press interviews with the arriving guests. The local ABC-TV affiliate station participates in each city event.

Shapiro’s post marks his 11th Academy Awards assignment. Aside from his time with the Oscars, he has served as a media consultant to NASA, where he headed the agency’s outreach efforts to the Hollywood creative community. Shapiro has also worked as a production executive on movies and miniseries for ABC, NBC and CBS.

The Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, broadcast on ABC.

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