FilmScene’s Blue Carpet Bash brought film lovers together to celebrate the Oscars

The Blue Carpet Bash, hosted by FilmScene, offered film lovers food, fun, and family for free. The viewing party for the 94th Academy Awards was held at 7 p.m. on Sunday night.


Isabella Cervantes

The Iowa City community is invited to a Blue Bash Oscars event where they can indulge n food, play games, and watch the Oscars at Filmsence in Iowa City on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

Ariana Lessard, Arts Reporter

The sense of community curated by FilmScene at this year’s Blue Carpet Bash was undeniable.

On Sunday night, the local theater held its watch party for the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, providing free food and entertainment as coverage of the Oscars pre-show and award ceremony played.

The building was filled with families and couples who laughed and played games like a blow-up bowling set in the lobby. Entertainment at the event included a blue carpet and backdrop for photos as well as a mock Oscar ballot to fill out and the chance to win prizes — a table was set up with items to win for whoever got the most picks on the ballot right.

“I want to see people celebrating movies,” FilmScene programming director Ben Delgado said at the celebration.

At its heart, the event sought to celebrate the movies — it was the common thread tying together a crowd of colorfully-dressed strangers. People wore everything from matching pajama sets to blue velvet jumpsuits, with one especially stylish child donning a dramatic black ball gown.

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Three theaters in FilmScene’s location at The Chauncey played the pre-show and Oscars, as well as a projector set up in the lobby.

“It’s important that the movie viewing environment is sort of sacred,” said Ross Meyer, head projectionist and facilities manager of FilmScene. “Tonight, that’s absolutely what this is about. It’s a movie theater. It’s cinema, and yet it’s this joyous celebration.”

While the usual concession counter was still open, additional food was provided. This included pizza, empanadas, and cookies, among many other options all donated by Chomp, a catering service based in North Liberty.

“Personally, I think [the Blue Carpet Bash] is one of my favorite sort of movie-related activities,” Meyer said.

Meyer explained that he had missed viewing movies in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they hadn’t been able to host one since 2020. However, Meyer said FilmScene was glad to be back now that Johnson County isn’t seeing as many cases of the virus.

FilmScene’s director of operations Emily Salmonson said she’d missed the event during the pandemic as well.

“We always obviously feel like it’s best to share these kinds of events, with the community and with the community, your movie lovers.” Salmonson said. “We just we just really love our community.”

Since the pandemic caused many theaters to close their doors, cinemas across the nation have struggled. FilmScene, a nonprofit local movie theater, was no exception to the hardship.

“It’s been a little struggle of course, both financially and socially. It’s hard to be upbeat and celebratory about movies — the world is so scary right now,” Meyer explained, “We’re excited to help people out, whatever we can do to make people feel happy and safe about coming back.”