Oscars at the Pub: The Inception of a tradition

The campus watering hole served up a screening, pints, and trivia during Sunday’s Oscars ceremony.

By Crystal Tsoi

The red carpet rolled out in front of the Ida Noyes Pub for the roughly 40 movie enthusiasts who gathered Sunday to enjoy the Academy Awards. Doc Films organized the event in collaboration with the Pub and ORCSA for an inaugural viewing that they hope will become a tradition for future Oscar nights.

“It’s Doc Films. It’s the Oscars. So it’s a natural set, but no one’s really pulled it together before,” said Scott Durham, an event organizer and Doc volunteer.

The event’s coordinators were surprised by the large number of people who showed up, according to projectionist Matthew Scott. “Turnout was at the high end of what we were hoping for because it was a first time. We thought that if we had 25 people and they had a good time, it would be good,” he said.

Durham and Scott were worried about the event’s turnout at first, but they found that listhosts were one of the best ways to advertise. Getting on the graduate school list, in particular the Law School listhost, was instrumental to the success of the event. “The big thing is to just get the word out early. We sold tickets at the Reynolds Club and those sales were okay but we tripled the sales at the door all due to listhosts,” Durham said.

In addition to showing the 83rd Academy Awards on the Pub’s television screens, the event featured an Oscar-themed trivia contest during commercial breaks. They also hosted a ballot contest, seeing which cinema aficionado could guess the award results most accurately.

First-year Colin Low took home the night’s prize for the ballot contest, correctly guessing 17 out of the 20 categories presented throughout the night. “I actually follow most of the Oscar seasons,” said Low, who plans to major in Cinema and Media Studies. “For the most part, most of the Oscar winners are preordained.”

The Pub is usually closed on Sundays, but manager Jake Spicer (A.B. ’97) hopes that collaborative events will pave the way for future Sunday night activities.

Scott hopes that the event next year will be “bigger,” with “more lights” and even photographers to give it a more characteristic Hollywood feel.

He has even begun brainstorming for next year, with ideas like featuring special guests at the event. “There are a lot of faculty that are really interested in film one way or another, so if we can get in our own celebrity and play up the whole end of the paparazzi at the door,” it would be ideal, said Scott, who had initially planned to invite special guests to the event.

“It was a great success. The Super Bowl and this were the only two events I had planned,” Spicer said. “I think we’re going to try one more next quarter—I need to think about something that might have a little bit more momentum.”