While the 91st Academy Awards ceremony was underway in Hollywood, Santa Clarita residents also celebrated cinema’s biggest night.
The Santa Clarita Library and the city partnered to hold an Oscars party at the Old Town Newhall library. The party was the culmination of a month-long celebration of the Oscars, which included screenings of films nominated for Best Picture.
“We try to put on one huge extravaganza event per quarter and the senior librarian Joanna Ratchie suggested we have an Oscars party not knowing how much I love the Oscars,” said Morgan Lazo, adult services librarian.
The event included a live stream of the Oscars, plus refreshments and a photo booth. Attendees also played bingo, a predictions game trivia for prizes, including DVDs of pervious “Best Picture” winners.
Michael Thompson, who said he would like to see “Bohemian Rhapsody” win the award for “Best Picture,” learned about the event on the library’s website, and also brought some memorabilia from Oscar ceremonies he attended including tickets, posters and programs.
“The party seemed like a good way to get out and show off these items to anyone who is interested,” Thompson said. “From the 1920s until television came around in the 1950s, all that everyone did was go to the movies — and they became such a central part of our culture. It’s a very prestigious night for film.”
Lazo said Santa Clarita’s history of involvement in film has kept an interest in the Oscars alive in Santa Clarita.
“Here in Santa Clarita, we get stuck in traffic behind film trucks and many residents work or have someone in their family that works in the industry so it’s a big part of our culture,” she said. “We even have a Western Walk of Stars; so, especially in Newhall, the arts are something we want to celebrate. It’s especially fun to.”
Ratchie said she thinks that it’s more fun for people to watch the Oscars in the company of others because of the connections people make to stories and actors they enjoy, and that people enjoy the competitive aspect of rooting for their favorites.
Plans for next year’s party are already in the works and Ratchie said she’d like to see more partnerships with local businesses and community organizations.
“We’d like to try for an even bigger venue and there are so many local businesses and organizations with so much to offer that we’d like to have a best of Newhall event centered around the Oscars.”