Things are getting a little crazy at the Cinema Center. Actually, more like Psycho.
The independent art house movie theater downtown is hosting its annual Oscar party tonight with a Hitchcock theme, as in Alfred Hitchcock, that famous film director of such classics as Psycho, Dial M for Murder and Vertigo.
Part of the theme of the Dial O for Oscar party is memorabilia. On display will be a shower curtain autographed by the late actress Janet Leigh, who starred in the film Psycho, as well as other film items on loan from the private collection of Larry Wardlaw, senior vice president at Asher Agency and an active community volunteer who is involved in local theater.
In addition, participants are asked to come dressed as Hitchcock or their favorite character from a Hitchcock film. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes.
The party is dedicated to saluting films nominated for an Academy Award but also those films that the Academy wouldn’t normally recognize, says Jonah Crismore, Cinema Center’s executive director.
Crismore says Alfred Hitchcock is a famous example, because although he was an influential filmmaker, he never received an Academy Award for best director.
This year, local moviegoers were asked to choose their 10 favorite films of the year, in which a winner for best picture will be selected based on votes.
Although two of the top 10 films selected were films that probably wouldn’t make the Academy’s short list, the other locally nominated films matched the list of nominees hoping for the best picture award at Sunday’s Oscars.
Crismore didn’t expect the Cinema Center film list to match the Academy’s, but he says he believes the Academy was spot-on this year with its film nominees, going after films that have an interest to more people.
This will be Crismore’s first Oscar party at the Cinema Center, having taken over as executive director in August. He says he is excited to have been involved in much of the planning for the party, adding that the Oscars is a holiday for film lovers.
In addition to the Oscar voting, other activities at the party include movie music by keyboardist Hope Arthur, food by Calhoun Street Soups, Salads and Spirits, a silent auction and screening of the film Hitchcock, which stars Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson, at 9:15 p.m.