Theme Party People

Live the Movies!

Citizen Kane Hollywood Premiere PDF Print E-mail

Set:  We have hosted Hollywood premiere parties for different eras and for "Citizen Kane" the setting was a 1941 Hollywood premiere, complete with red carpet, cheering fans and the flashbulbs of hundreds of photographers outside the private showing of what is considered the greatest American film.

So how do we accomplish that? The red carpet material can be purchased from a Party supplies store as red runners, not too expensive and can be used over and over. I mounted disco style strobe lights to a PVC pipe and plugged them into a motion sensor set to "Test". The sensor was a simple outdoor light unit purchased at a hardware store. The effect was very effective, for as guest walked up the red carpet, their movement would trigger the various strobe lights, truly resembling the flash of many cameras. It was easy to create a CD with crowd cheers, applause and general crowd noise to add to the effect that the guests were the  "stars" of the evening!

Costumes: Our guests went to the formal ware, either real or purchased from a antique clothes shop. The ladies gowns were described as they made their way up the red carpet.

Catering: Our guests were asked to be creative and many prepared Wolfgang Pucks Oscar© night recipes . In keeping with several of the plot points, we sprinkled jigsaw puzzle pieces around the serving dishes as well as Hollywood glitter and stars, available at a Party supply house.

Score: From the bookstore, we purchased several 1940's big band CDs as well as one that consisted of "Hollywood's Greatest Hits" and ran these on shuffle play throughout the dinner party. With the aforementioned crowd sound effects CD also running, it made for a realistic Hollywood evening.

Action: We had video cameras monitoring the arriving movie stars and their walk down the red carpet. We purchased a bubble machine to create the effect of an old style Hollywood bash and our guest enjoyed "playing" movie stars for the evening.

Wine: As the official Sommelier of the “Theme Party People’ website, Craig often pairs the wine with the geographic location of the film. So having said (or in fact written) that, please read the summary of the locale where Charles Foster Kane lived in the movie Citizen Kane

Xanadu is the fictional estate of Charles Foster Kane, the title character of the film Citizen Kane. The estate gets its name from the real ancient Mongolian city, Xanadu, known for its splendor.

Located on the "desert coast" of Florida (of which real-life Florida does not have), Xanadu is described as the world's largest private estate; "cost: no man can say" according to the newsreel at the beginning of the film. Built on an immense "private mountain" constructed from twenty thousand tons of marble, the estate boasts a forest of one hundred thousand trees, a championship-quality golf course, a Venetian-style canal with gondolas and an extensive zoo and aquarium stocked with a menagerie of animals.

Xanadu may be a reflection of Hearst Castle, especially considering some archive footage of Hearst Castle was used in the film. However, most shots of Xanadu were surrealistic, highly stylized matte paintings. Xanadu makes great use of Gothic architecture and almost always appears in the film at night with fog surrounding it, giving it an "ominous" look. This is appropriate since Xanadu becomes something of a prison, rather than a castle, for Kane in the film.

Xanadu has been used in recent times to represent the foolish excess of lavish lifestyles such as Kane's. Various celebrities — particularly Michael Jackson with his Neverland Ranch — have been compared to Kane, with their inability to spend wisely and gradual disconnect from the everyday world. Xanadu's symbolic meaning of a "prison" built for oneself resonates to this day. Bill Gates' house has been nicknamed "Xanadu 2.0" in reference to the fictional mansion of this article.

OK – so our choices are Florida wines, Washington State wines (due to the oblique reference to Bill Gates) or California wines. I have selected California for 3 reasons:

The reference to Hearst Castle which is a really cool, very big building in California
Michael Jackson’s ranch is also in California . I checked with Michael and he indicated that he only drinks “young” wine.
Hollywood is also in California (Bollywood is the one in India and Dollywood is the one in Tennessee or so I’m told)

So to celebrate Hollywood and Citizen Kane, let’s celebrate with some Champagne – oops I forgot I can’t say Champagne without offending the French (pardon moi). So let’s toast the movie with a glass of sparkling wine made in the “methode Champenoise” style.

I like the Domaine Chandon Brut Napa-Sonoma Counties Reserve. This wine pleases everyone. It’s a Napa wine, a Sonoma wine and a French sounding wine. Oh la la.

With aromas of pear, fig and cinnamon and only costing around $18 this rich, yeasty 90 pointer will add a sparkle to our evening. So were Kanes’ last words Rosebud of Grapebu