Oscar’s red-carpet revelers dodge dousing

Tents, umbrellas provide cover and early rain dissipates quickly

Hollywood was truly celebrating in a bubble on Sunday thanks to the tenting erected over Oscar’s red carpet to guard against any meterological interference.

Maybe it was a result of the best-pic field being expanded to 10 nominees, but Oscar’s crimson promenade seemed particularly packed this year. The stars were plentiful, and so were the execs and producers trying to act nonchalant as they walked the L-shaped pathway as the screamers in the peanut gallery squealed “Taylor” (Lautner) and “Ryan” (Reynolds) and “Zac” (Efron) and “Kristen” (Stewart), to name but a few that got huge reactions.

There’s always a strange quality to the red carpet about a half-hour or so before the festivities get started in earnest, at 3 p.m. Earlier in the day, there’s the hustle and bustle of TV crews and personalities setting up and rehearsing. By around 2:30 p.m., though, a quiet settles in. Publicists, journos and TV crews are told in no uncertain terms by Acad staff to get in their positions, and everyone waits for the sound of rolling thunder, Hollywood-style. By 3:45, it’s a sea of beautiful people, and there’s barely a spec of the carpet not occupied.

Just one big downpour rained on Oscar’s parade, around 3:30. It sounded like fireworks going off overhead as the drops hit the plastic. There was an unfortunate gap between the end of the tenting and the entry to the Kodak Theater, but staffers quickly grabbed oversized black umbrellas from velvet-covered barrels at the edge of the press and photog bleachers.

And the rain ultimately respected the biz’s pecking order, dissipating completely by the time the heavyhitters made their way into the theater after 4:15.

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