By Pete Pedro Anderson
Special to the Town Crier

Now, in addition to screening first-run films, Idyllwild’s Rustic Theatre is following a new direction — live, hi-def, big-screen events, delivered from a state-of-the-art sound system. Next up is the 87th Academy Awards show, live from Hollywood. The event is free.

As locals found out just recently, not even 50-yard-line seats at the University of Phoenix stadium’s Super Bowl could match the clarity, excitement and feeling of being there — and the smell of popcorn — that was experienced at the Rustic. The size of the screen, the color and the immediate involvement of the audience, had football fans hooting and screaming at the action — and at fans of the opposing team.

The Oscars show is on Sunday, Feb. 22. The doors will open at 3 p.m. This is a red-carpet event. The lobby will be the mingling place of movie-lovers, gawkers, interviewers and stars. Attendees — if they choose — may dress for the occasion. This is a chance to pull the glittering wardrobe out of the closet.

There will be a contest for the best costumes in two categories: Best Celebratory Hollywood Out-on-the-Townwear; and Best Character Look-alike (from this or any year).

In addition to the usual movie edibles, wine and beer will be available in the lobby, all moderately priced. Idyllwild’s neighbors are being actively invited —movie-goers from Hemet, from the desert, from Anza. There’s no need to drive to Hollywood in a limo, it’s all happening right here in Idyllwild, at the Rustic Theatre.