Where to Watch the Oscars in Washington

Local spots are offering food and drink specials, viewing parties, and more.

By: Laura Wainman

Catch Pixar’s La Luna and other Oscar-nominated flicks at the National Archives starting Wednesday. Photograph courtesy of Pixar.

When your dreams are suddenly inhabited by Parisian orphans fixing clocks, the cackling laughter of Southern maids, and the stampeding hooves of a horse trying desperately to return to his young master, you know it can only mean one thing: It’s time for the Oscars. You’ve caught all the flicks and debated the merits of the nominees—now all you need is a great place to watch the season’s splashiest award show. We rounded up a few local venues offering big-screen TVs, trivia, and food and drink specials for the big night.

Catch up on films you may have missed during free screenings of nominated films at the National Archives. From February 22 to 26, you can view screenings of select documentary features and shorts, and live action and animated short films. Tickets are distributed at the special events entrance on Constitution Avenue one hour before start time. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis in the William G. McGowan Theater, and theater doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime. See the full schedule here.

Don your best creative cocktail chic for the area’s only official Academy-sanctioned viewing party at Pazo Restaurant. The 11th annual “Oscar Night Baltimore,” which benefits the nonprofit City Steps, lets guests experience all the excitement of a red carpet event. Enjoy live entertainment from Darin Atwater, auctions, hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, dancing, and, of course, full coverage of the 84th Academy Awards. Tickets ($125) can be purchased online, and festivities kick off at 6 PM.

Step into a slice of Hollywood life at Silver Spring Town Center for “An Evening with the Stars.” Get in the movie mood with hors d’oeuvres from around the world, popcorn, and beverages (of the adult and kid-friendly varieties). Expect plenty of humor from cohosts Pamela Brown of WJLA and former Redskins linebacker Ravin Caldwell. Tickets are $25 in advance (buy here) and $35 at the door, which opens at 7 PM. Proceeds benefit the National Center for Children and Families, and your ticket gets you one drink and a swag bag.

Predict your own winners at the Washington DC Film Society’s 20th annual “And the Winner Is . . .” party at the Arlington Cinema ’N’ Drafthouse. Join fellow film lovers for spirited discussions hosted by local film critics Bill Henry and Tim Gordon. Guess the winners in each category, shout answers to random trivia, or be a winner yourself during the silent auction, in which DVDs, movie promo items, and signed posters will be up for grabs. Snag tickets ($20) here or at the door, which will open at 6:30 PM. Proceeds benefit the DC Film Society and Filmfest DC.

Work the red carpet yourself at the DC Center’s seventh annual “Glamour, Glitter and Gold” at Town Dance Boutique. Watch the broadcast, laugh along with comedic hosts Aiyi’nah Ford and Sampson McCormick, and banter with movie buff Randy Shulman during commercial breaks. Later in the evening, regular Town drag hostess Lena Let will perform her usual show for the crowd. Try specialty cocktails to celebrate the best actor and actress winners, and enter a raffle to win movie tickets, posters, and other memorabilia. General admission is $20, and VIP tickets (which include food, seating, and gift bags) are $50; proceeds benefit the LGBT community through the DC Center. Doors open at 7:30. Purchase tickets here.

Enjoy dinner and a show at Station 4, which will broadcast the Oscars on all the bar TVs. Toast the winners with discounted libations such as $4 beer, $5 wine, and a $7 specialty drink aptly named the Red Carpet Mimosa, a mix of Lambrusco, Ciroc Red Berry, and tonic.

Munch on a half-price Spielburger during the annual Oscars party at Helix Lounge from 5 to 11 PM. Admission is free at the mod hotel lounge, and the show will be playing on two TVs in the bar. Sip specialty cocktails themed for best picture nominees, such as a Southern Sweet Tea (made with “the help” of Firefly, grapefruit juice, fresh lemon, and sparkling water).

Kick back and relax with a cold one at Nellie’s Sports Bar’s Oscar party, courtesy of the $4 weekend specials. Whether you are a beer nerd, a mimosa sipper, a Bloody Mary lover, or a big fan of the house rail drinks, there is something for everyone at this free viewing party, starting at 7 PM.

If you and your leading lady or gent prefer award-winning dining to fine film, take advantage of the dinner specials at four Passion Food Hospitality restaurants: Acadiana, Ceiba, DC Coast, and District Commons. On February 26, each restaurant will offer a three-course dinner for two for $84. Choose an appetizer, entrée, and dessert from the regular menu, and enjoy half-price glasses or bottles of Taittinger Champagne.