A record 46 cities will participate in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' program, which sanctions local charitable Academy Awards(R) show viewing parties and provides them with some extra elements of glamour such as posters, programs and the use of the Academy's famous Oscar logo.
Last year, Oscar Night America parties raised over $1.7 million for local charities in 37 cities. Since its inception in 1994, the program has generated funding for a wide spectrum of charitable organizations--every cent staying within the community where it was raised, none of it going to the Academy.
This year, from Seattle to West Palm Beach, organizations will attempt to re-create the glamour and excitement of the Academy Awards ceremony. The cities chosen to host Oscar Night America parties in 2004 are Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Greenville, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Tucson, Washington, D.C. and West Palm Beach. All of the parties will feature a live broadcast of the 76th Academy Awards Presentation, which is being televised by the ABC Television Network.
"Oscar Night has always been a night for friends and families to gather and cheer for their favorite films and stars," said Ric Robertson, executive administrator of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "This nationwide network of fundraising parties is a natural extension of that shared experience."
The Academy provides official Oscar Night America parties with the same printed Academy Awards show programs as those handed out at the ceremonies in Los Angeles and permits the party organizers to use the image of the Academy's copyrighted Oscar statuette on invitations and other materials. The Academy also donates official commemorative posters and creates public service announcements for local broadcast.
Most of the parties are black-tie affairs, though some are less formal, with varied and distinctive touches. Some events, for example, ask partygoers to dress up as famous couples, and some feature limousine arrivals, walks down red carpets, celebrities, photographers or "paparazzi" and press interviews with arriving guests.
Only one charity party in a given city may participate in Oscar Night America. Events are completely produced by local non-profit organizations, with the active participation of the local ABC-TV affiliate station. Charities presenting parties this year are the Arthritis Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, City of Hope, Family and Children's Counseling Centers, American Red Cross, Special Olympics Texas, Utah Aids Foundation, Alzheimer's Association, Minnesota AIDS Project, Capitol City AIDS Fund, Volunteers of America, Variety Club, The Ellie Fund, AIDS Interfaith Residential Services, Take Charge Cure for Parkinson's, Child and Family Resources, California Film Institute, Miami Beach Film Society, Heartland Film Festival and other local arts foundations and film festivals.
Concept Marketing Development of Camarillo, California, will assist the Academy in coordination of the program for the eleventh consecutive year.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2003 will be presented on Sunday, February 29, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland(R) and televised live by the ABC Television Network at 5 p.m. PST, beginning with a half-hour arrival segment.
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