A security guard patrols the entrance to the Dolby Theatre prior to the 85th Academy Awards on Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California. AFP/Joe Klamar
The red carpet has been rolled out, life size Oscar mannequins have been put into place, and the Dolby theatre is buzzing with non-stop activity before the big night of the daddy of all awards on Sunday night here in Los Angeles.
The 85th annual Academy awards or just The Oscars, as these are being called this year, is in for some grand celebration.
The whole perimeter surrounding the Dolby Theatre, the home to the Oscars ceremony -- earlier called the Kodak Theatre -- has been cordoned off with beefed up security on guard for security reasons. So much so that the Hollywood/Highland metro station, the one for the Theatre will remain closed the entire day in the wake of the awards. Huge hoardings proclaiming the awards have been put up everywhere. The winner of them all - the one which reads, "Get Seth Go" after the host of the gala, Seth MacFarlane. Then there are entertainers, who are amusing the public in the attire of Darth Vader, Bumblee Bee and Optimu Prime, The Joker, The Madhatter, Charlie Chaplin, and the major showstealer, the golden statuette itself -- played by Oscar-award winning documentary director Robert Hudson.
"I haven't been asked for pictures so many times perhaps in my entire life," Hudson tells us, while displaying his white set of dentals from an otherwise golden painted bald head and face in entirety.
Meanwhile, inside the Theatre, it smells of flowers, as it is being done up in entirety with countless flowers and bunches - not to forget jumbo white roses - never seen before. Even the press rooms have been laden with some plucks from the garden apart from the mish mash of cables that make their way to the tables for prompt coverage.
ON THE RED CARPET
Major TV channels and print houses have been marked their spots with limited space to avoid elbowing each other while interviewing celebs during the arrivals. While some are still setting up, others from foreign countries - could be seen mugging up lines before sending feeds back to their channels with pre-Oscar buzz.
Surprisingly, the official Oscars merchandise such as jackets, sweatshirts and caps, is not accessible to the public. Only available to the press members and others with accrediations to the ceremony, it is available only on orders placed under a US address. While the jackets cost between $61-68 with an additional $17 for tax and shipping; the tee and cap come at $29 and $11 respectively. However, outside the premises, there are multiple souvenir shops with take away Oscar memorablia. The biggest hit of them all are the mini Oscar statuettes that range anywhere from $5.99-$7.99-$9.99 apiece.
BEELINE AT TUX SHOPS
The Tuxedo rental shops in the vicinity and around Hollywood have almost run out of combinations - thanks to the Oscars that is strictly a formal, tux and black tie/bow tie event.
"We have it in our mandate. Only formals, preferably black and tuxedo jacket for everyone from the celebrities to the press and that does not include jeans or denims of any kind," an Academy spokesperson tells us at the credentials centre here.
The Tux shops, on the other hand, are making good business by offering a set from $60-$70 to begin with and going to the limit of $130-$150 a set depending upon the size.
"I'm just left with a piece or two in some sizes. Everybody's been wanting one for the Oscars," Mike Topalian of the popular tux rental shop, Tuxedos by Mike, tells us.
The writer's trip has been sponsored by the channel Star Movies that airs the Oscars live in India on Monday, 6am onwards.