Everyone loves a good Oscar(TM) party. And everybody loves a good Oscar(TM) party duel. This Sunday, March 23, if you want to watch the 75th Annual Academy Awards(TM) in true East Bay style, you've got two choices: One is classy, the other is slightly more Anna Nicole Smith. For a glitzy, formal affair, check out the fifth annual Academy Gala at the Paramount Theatre (2025 Broadway), Oakland's opulent art deco palace, where you may not be a celebrity, but you will get treated like one. Stroll down the red carpet. Be greeted by frenzied -- albeit fake -- paparazzi and fans. Heed the call of the Mighty Wurlitzer. There will also be a silent auction and raffle, to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, prior to a live screening of the awards ceremony. Be sure to show up at 3:30 p.m. for the sumptuous all-you-can-eat buffet and premium vodka bar. Tickets are $75 per person at the Paramount's box office or get them online at www.ticketmaster.com
On the other hand, if you prefer a low-key shindig that's easy on the wallet, head over to the Parkway (1834 Park Blvd.), Oakland's casual movie-house-pizza-parlor-pub-in-one. For a mere $10, you can kick off your shoes and enjoy the Oscars(TM) on two screens. Lounge lizard Will "The Thrill" Viharo -- irreverent host of Thrillville, the Parkway's bimonthly B-movie fest -- will emcee. Viharo says he's "ideologically and philosophically opposed" to the Academy Awards(TM) -- an irony sure to add some cheeky humor to the evening's fashion hoo-ha and teary-eyed acceptance speeches. Movie trivia, celebrity look-alike contests, door prizes, and skits by Barely Legal Productions -- the gang who does the Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday at midnight -- will round out the festivities. Grub is extra, but keep an eye out for a handful of special menu selections supplementing the usual house pizza and beer. As soon as you put this paper down, run, don't walk, to the Parkway -- tickets sell out fast. Doors open at 4, but if you're hoping to grab a sofa seat, better show up early.
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