‘Sunshine’ screening pours it on in N.Y.

Martinis help auds survive unspooling delays

Hollywood party planners take note: Plying preemgoers with a potent libation does wonders for their spirits.

While booze sometimes flows before a screening, Sundance Channel spread cheer at the May 11 Sundance Institute at BAM bow for “Little Miss Sunshine” by allowing guests to take their lemon-drop martinis into the screenings.

Pic, which Fox Searchlight picked up at Sundance this year as the fest’s biggest buy, played simultaneously at BAM’s four theaters. Introductions by BAM prexy Karen Hopkins, Sundance Film Festival director Geoffrey Gilmore, co-helmers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris led to a series of delays. But that didn’t seem to bother anyone.

“(Martinis) have the wonderful effect of making any delays in start time sort of evaporate,” says Sundance Channel senior VP of marketing Kirk Iwanowski.

According to a BAM spokesperson, the org allowed alcohol into theaters because the screening was a private event with invited guests. If that’s the criteria, look for more screenings to try lifting auds’ spirits with some in-theater spirits.

After all, the in-theater imbibing delighted even “Sunshine” co-helmer Dayton.

“This is really the second time (since the Sundance Film Festival) that the film has ever been seen, and we are very nervous about the New York audience taking this in. But thank god you have all been drinking,” Dayton joked prior to the film.

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