Parties launch in outer space

Globes scene adds two soirees

The 2007 Golden Globes after-party scene will be experiencing its biggest change in years: the addition of two major parties.

The BevHilton had pretty much maxed out for party spaces. There once had been six venues, but that was cut to five when crowding forced a fire marshal-induced decrease.

The current change comes from the availability of the adjacent Robinsons-May space, which is slated to become a Richard Meier-designed, environmentally friendly condo project.

New Pacific Realty is allowing the vacant space to be used for two parties: one sponsored by E! and the Environmental Media Assn., which will be held in the tented parking lot; and the other by Paramount Pictures, which will be in the former department store building itself.

“I think the new parties help alleviate some of the congestion with all the hotel elevators being jammed and things like that,” says HFPA prexy Phil Berk. “But they’re putting out a lot of money, and you can’t be sure who’s going to win the awards. If they’re not the big winner, people might not make the trek over there, and they could have a lot of food left over.”

While there are some logistical challenges associated with the fiesta square-footage increase — notably, the security perimeter is greatly expanded — it seems to solve more problems than it adds.

In years past, there has been just one entrance for the Globe after-parties: under the hotel’s canopied entryway on Wilshire Boulevard.

This year, there will be another on Santa Monica Boulevard for guests who are primarily going to the affairs in the Robinsons-May complex.

However, once cleared through either security entrance, partygoers will be able to go back and forth between the BevHilton and Robinsons-May. The hotel is keeping open the red carpet in what’s normally the valet drop-off area to allow for this. Guests need, of course, invitations to enter each individual party.

“The key is to make this as enjoyable an experience as possible for everyone and at the same time keep everybody safe,” says Elite Agency director Lou Palumbo, who heads Globe party security.

One plus for the parties in the Robinsons-May area is they can bring in their own catering. This is a major advantage.

The events inside the hotel all have to accept BevHilton food, which can be a tough proposition since the hotel’s staff is usually stretched to the limit.

While this expanded party platform could very well be a boon to Globe partygoers, it will be short-lived: Construction is scheduled to start on the Robinsons-May site as soon as plans are approved.

As for the parties inside the BevHilton, they line up pretty much the way they did last year.

The hotel says it spent $80 million on upgrading the facility over the past few years. And the one area where this is most apparent is the downstairs Circa 55 restaurant (formerly named Griff’s after ex-owner Merv Griffin.) And this is where HBO is having its party.

The restaurant was redone in a sleek, ’50s-era Palm Springs-style design that opens out onto the massive pool area. This gives the party lots of room to breathe.

What’s usually the most lavish party is thrown by InStyle Magazine and Warner Bros. Once again it will be in a tent covering the Palm Court area. This event has had the likes of Prince get up and perform.

And since InStyle now pretty much has that whole wing of the hotel to itself, there won’t be any of the entry problems that plagued the affair two years ago.

NBC (the Globes broadcaster) with sister companies Universal and Focus, along with sponsor Cartier, will take over the garage rooftop with a tented party for 700 guests.

Diallo Riddle from the Standard Hotel will DJ. The studio is bringing in Angel City to do the design.

Fox Films and Fox Searchlight, which have 14 nominations between them, will be in the eighth-floor Stardust room. The Weinstein Co., which has four noms, will be taking over Trader Vic’s.

The bottom line on the Globes after-parties is that the concentration of fiestas has a certain synergy.

“I’ve had the misfortune of attending the Academy Awards and then trying to cross over to Morton’s for the Vanity Fair party and be held up in traffic for half an hour,” Berk says. “To have all the parties in one venue is a terrific advantage.”

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