Arrivals battle downtown distractions

Space was the enemy at the Nokia

At the Emmys’ first Nokia Theater outing, the arrivals seemed to work well enough.

Or they were a disaster … depending on how your day was going.

One major difference from the past years at the Shrine was the massive amount of land within the secure zone. It included the Convention Center and its parking lots, Staples Center and the entire LA Live complex.

Publicists were going ballistic because they couldn’t find talent or execs in the huge space; city officials were upset over the positioning of photogs 10 feet from the entrance, slowing the flow of guests

Panic aside, everyone was through the metal detectors 15 minutes before show time.

The arrivals area certainly looked significantly more modern than the built-in-1906 Shrine. But with much of LA Live unfinished, construction cranes loomed overhead; the overall architectural effect was Las Vegas meets Dubai.

The Emmy’s eternal problem is just the physical impossibility of elegantly letting 6,500 guests (at the Shrine it was 6,300) converge on one spot in limos.

“John Adams” director Tom Hooper said a problem with arrivals was “too many people claiming to be celebrities going through the celebrity metal detector. What could be more indicative of a celebrity culture?”

And, as always in mid-September, it was hot.

Ricky Gervais said he looked around the scene and “I kept thinking ‘What am I doing here?’ I’m too fat to be wearing a tuxedo on an 85-degree day in the afternoon.”

“Deliciously sweaty,” was the way Scott Adsit of “30 Rock” described the scene, while Entertainment Weekly publisher Scott Donaton said it was “like the Emmys on the surface of the sun.”

Despite the heat, it seemed like most everyone — maybe Larry David excepted — was happy to be there.

“I’m nominated in the same category as Rod Sterling and Paddy Chayefsky,” said “Mad Men” creator Matt Weiner. “What more could a writer want?”

MPAA topper Dan Glickman said his last job was as secretary of agriculture “and this is at least as glamorous.”

As for what the show itself would be, HBO’s Colin Callender said “it’s high church meets low church … ‘John Adams’ meets ‘Project Runway.’ ”

“It’s very American,” said Bill Maher. “Silly, meaningless, lots of fun and it’s televised.”

And those with the longest perspective were just happy to be invited.

“The first TV I did was in 1947,” said Ed McMahon. “I got an apple and a stick.”

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