London Theater Pranks Audience by Playing ‘La La Land’ at ‘Moonlight’ Screening

La La Land Emma Stone Ryan
Courtesy of Lionsgate

And the winner for best Oscar joke is…

… a theater in London, whose staff “mistakenly” began showing “La La Land” instead of scheduled feature “Moonlight” on Tuesday night. Moments later, before an initially puzzled, then guffawing audience, the correct movie came on.

The duty manager at the Rio Cinema, in London’s hip Dalston district, told Time Out magazine that the prank was just a spot of fun.

The bit of “La La Land” shown wasn’t the much-talked-about opening sequence of traffic-jammed commuters joyfully singing and dancing to “Another Day of Sun.”


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“It wasn’t the actual feature film but a few seconds from a teaser trailer,” the duty manager said. “Then we shut it down, and did a bit of fumbling to make it look like we made a mistake.”

The prank followed the most shocking moment in recent Oscars history on Sunday, when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced that “La La Land” had won best picture, only to realize they had the wrong envelope and “Moonlight” was the actual winner.

Since then, photos have emerged of PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant Brian Cullinan — the man behind the infamous envelope mix-up — tweeting backstage while holding two envelopes, moments before the winner was announced. Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs has said that Cullinan and fellow PwC accountant Martha Ruiz will not participate in future Oscars ceremonies.

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