Being classic movie buffs, my crowd of retro devotees scoured the scene this year for a good New Year’s bash, preferably at one of L.A.’s fabulous old school theaters. We found plenty, including one at the famous Million Dollar Theater and, of course, Grauman’s Egyptian Theater where the affair is being billed as Cleopatra’s New Year’s Eve Ball, complete with period costumes and a balloon drop. Each of these over the top and otherwise splendid affairs, however, suffers from the same glaring shortcoming: no movie. That is, unless you count the grandfatherly head of security watching Shrek on a spare surveillance monitor. Yes, in spite of being staged at the most optimum locations possible, not one of these places actually designed to specifically host movies is actually screening one. There are plenty of well stocked bars, buffets and gyrating go-go dancers but no flicks, my friends, sorry. Well, for accuracy’s sake, I must point out that there was one…at the local senior center. Not that I have any problem with the company of the old folks. It would probably a welcome contrast to many of today’s more obnoxious party-goers. I can just do without the low sodium fare and eight o’clock curfew.
So, venueless, we set out on our own with the mission of a New Year’s Eve classic movie affair and I strongly encourage other retroites to do likewise. Turner classic movies, although providing no physical setting, as they sometimes do, has at least set the theme with their New Year’s Eve Marx Brother’s marathon, beginning at seven p.m. with “Animal Crackers.” What better motivation for celebration than the original party animals (and crashers) themselves?
We plan to provide the premises and the big screen whereas we’ll be leaving it up to our friends to provide the nuts, so to speak. I’m supposing I’ll have to be a Groucho or Chico lest the whole place fill up full of Harpos, but I consider this a great sacrifice as when else is it socially acceptable to chase women around with a horn aimed at their rear? Anyone not in costume will be assumed to be a Zeppo or a skoit and, as such, fair game for any horny Harpos (pardon the rather naughty pun.) The fare will be predominantly casual but served in style, as would be expected of any occasion worthy of being crashed by our guests of honor. Music will naturally be of the period but kept at a low volume so these great movies can be properly enjoyed.
Let’s face it, these last few years have been tough ones, but perhaps, by opening our hearts and welcoming this next one in a joyous fashion, the positive mood will prevail on into the months ahead and provide a fertile environment for extended happiness and prosperity to match. Happy 2011 everyone!