The Gold Knight: Global contest offers bleacher seats on next year’s Oscars red carpetWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s one of the most coveted seats in the world. And it’s free. It’s a spot along the most famous red carpet of the year: the Academy Awards red carpet.
Around 700 lucky fans will be selected in a global online lottery to sit in the bleacher seats flanking the red carpet at the 85th Academy Awards on Feb. 24.
Those interested can apply online at Oscars.org/insider. The deadline to enter is Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. Entries must be submitted online and no duplicate registrations will be accepted. Of course, “Selection does not include admittance to the 85th Academy Awards presentation,” as the official rules remind.
The lottery is offered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which puts on the Oscars.
Those selected will be notified on or around Nov. 20, according to the Academy. In previous years, as many as 20,000 fans have entered the lottery.
However, the lottery is for seats ONLY; no airfare or hotel accommodations are provided. A background check is also required if selected.
Fans at 2012’s “Oscar Fan Experience” received goodie bags with candy, popcorn, soda, sunscreen and face wipes, along with other gifts. They arrived early for a full behind-the-scenes day in seats viewable on TVs around the world. Once the red carpet was empty, bleacher fans were invited to an Oscars viewing party at the El Capitan Theatre across the street.
In the past, the Academy kept registration for the contest open only for one week. This year, the nonprofit organization is extending that period to almost two months.
This columnist was lucky enough to be selected as a bleacher fan in 2008 at the 80th Academy Awards. It is quite the experience, a 12-hour-plus day chock full of the biggest names on the biggest night in Hollywood. The energy is palpable. Fans yell and scream for nominees and movie stars to look their way and wave. Being a fly on the wall there was unforgettable.
Toledo Free Press Star has interviewed a few of the lucky fans during the past two years.
One of the fans interviewed in February was Erin Rea, from Daly City, Calif., who brought her daughter’s bear, Emma, to the bleachers with her. Rea said she was looking forward to seeing George Clooney on the red carpet. Later that day, Clooney would meet her and take a picture with the stuffed animal.
Fan Robert Mills, of Cardiff, Wales, was one of the lucky fans sitting along the Red Carpet at the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011 (pictured above).
The studio manager of Bluegg, a British design studio in Wales, said it was a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“I’m a massive film fan and have been watching the Oscars on the TV for years,” Mills said. “I thought I’d try my luck but never for a second thought I’d get seats, especially as it was my first year of trying.”
For some lucky fans, the first time entering may be the charm. Good luck.
Toledo Free Press Lead Designer and Film Editor James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at TheGoldKnight.com. Watch him discuss movies on “WNWO Today” around 5:50 a.m. on Fridays. Also, listen to James discuss movies on “Eye on Your Weekend” on 1370 WSPD every Friday at 6 p.m.