The star of the Oscars is ready: Hollywood rolls out the red carpet at the doors of the Dolby Theater | Oscar Awards | Cinema

The universal charisma of the Oscars is defined in a single image: that of a handful of workers unrolling a piece of red fabric at ten in the morning on a Wednesday. If we extrapolate the photo, the truth is that it makes little sense. But this is so. Because this is the Oscars. The most famous awards ceremony in the world, which prepares an entire event, full of expectation, journalists and cameras, from something as simple as laying the carpet.

But the gesture is universal and known thanks to the almost one hundred years that the awards have existed and is repeated, year after year, with or without a presenter. It is a starting signal, a rite marked to say: here we are, we have come to invade television, newspapers and magazines for the next week, to give you conversation and jokes, to do what we know best, spectacle. And, season after season, they succeed.

The carpet and the awards have so much weight in the cultural and social panorama that they don’t even need a famous face to accompany them. This Wednesday, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at the door of the Dolby (which has hosted the gala for 22 editions, after moving here from the Shrine Auditorium), some were waiting for Jimmy Kimmel, the comedian who will present the awards next Sunday for the fourth time. He was not announced, but he was presupposed; Furthermore, the theater from which he broadcasts his program every night is exactly in front of the Dolby, so he couldn’t be caught out. But he didn’t show up, and no one asked about him either. “Nothing, it couldn’t happen, I had some interviews later…” commented someone from the (immense) Oscar organizational team. He was not missed. The carpet is an entity in itself that does not need famous surnames to make itself known.

The red carpet has been spread out in two parts, so that the media could film it calmly, but also because it is very wide and is actually made up of two pieces, each about five meters wide, which are then carefully joined together. When the dozens of congregants have disappeared from there, the workers, mostly Latino (California has 50% Latino population, its main population group) have continued working, stapling part of the carpet, placing pieces, making cuts so that fit and preparing it and then ironing it at about 175 degrees because, at the base, it has a material that, with heat, makes it stick to the floor, similar to patches for clothing.

The 275 meters of carpet have been deployed in the heart of Hollywood Boulevard, which is practically closed. Only a narrow sidewalk is more or less free, the one opposite the theater, where tourists and street vendors of mango and watermelon pass by. Although it may seem otherwise, these days are not exactly when they have their fun, due to the low influx of the public, who see their access to the Dolby (which is, in reality, the cinema adjacent to a shopping center) limited, but also to other attractions such as many of the stars of the Paseo, the Chinese Theater and the Hard Rock Café, next to the theater. Plus, everything is fenced, so even the selfies don’t turn out as they deserve.

The red carpet returns to its being after turning champagne color in 2023. Along its almost 300 main meters and its 10 meters width it will be covered by an immense tent (this one in champagne color) through which the nominees will parade and his companions. After him will arrive the gala, at four in the afternoon Pacific time (12 at night, Spanish peninsular time), where 23 awards will be presented for three and a half hours; then, party and super dinner with ham, sushi and waffles. In the theater there will be about 3,400 spectators and on the US screens, if last year’s figures do not vary much, around 20 million people (and several million in another 200 countries). By the time everyone has entered the Dolby, that fantasy of red carpets, lights and cameras will begin to fade and, like Cinderella, will disappear before midnight. Paraphernalia that has taken 10 days to assemble will be gone in just a few hours. And the carpet? Some is collected and recycled for other events, some is thrown away. More than one, when leaving the gala, takes a piece of souvenir home. Next year will be another, new, and start over. The show must go on.

All the culture that goes with you awaits you here.


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