Oscars Brace for Soggy Sunday as Downpour Hits

Oscars, Spirit Awards using tarps and canopies because of inclement weather

Last Updated: August 4, 2014 @ 11:13 AM


With a heavy rainstorm hitting Southern California on Friday and expected to last for a couple of days, the Academy is preparing for a wet Oscar Sunday.

And they’re not the only ones who will be dealing with the elements this weekend: A number of events, including the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday afternoon and the GREAT British Film Reception on Friday afternoon, will have to contend with inclement weather as well.

Current forecasts call for as much as 4 inches of rain on Friday and Saturday, with rain lessening over the weekend and lighter showers likely on Sunday.

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When it comes to awards shows and parties, that means that canopies and tarps are the order of business.

At Hollywood & Highland Center, where the Oscar setup has been taking place for days, a large canopy was erected before the red carpet was laid on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The canopy, and other canopies that are now being erected, should keep guests dry as they traverse the carpet, though press crews on walk-throughs have been nervously eyeing potential gaps in the coverage.

The Oscar production always operates with detailed weather forecasts, and the red-carpet canopy is a typical part of Oscar setup. The Academy puts it up a couple of days before the show in any year in which there is a reasonable chance of rain, on the theory that it’s easier and faster to take down a canopy if the rain stops than to put it up when the rain starts.

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86th Annual Academy Awards - Preparations Continue

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Heavy rain could also slow traffic and snarl arrivals, though the Oscars control traffic flow with so many street closures that the weather shouldn’t have as big an impact.

The Academy did not immediately respond to TheWrap‘s questions about its plans.

Meanwhile, the GREAT British Film Reception always kicks off Oscar weekend with a Friday-afternoon soiree in the back yard of the British Consul General’s house in Hancock Park. Organizers told guests on Wednesday that the yard would be tented because of the weather, and the event team told TheWrap that the contingency plan also includes tenting the red carpet and entrance areas.

And the Spirit Awards takes place in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, so the show itself will not be affected. But many guests walk from a beach parking lot some distance from the tent, and pre-show mingling generally takes place in the outdoor areas surrounding the main tent.

Film Independent has dealt with rain before through the use of tarps and canopies. Its 2011 show was legendarily cold and miserable inside the tent as the rain came down outside.

But that year, the storm that his came as something of a surprise. This year, Spirit Awards organizers have known for days that they’re going to be rained on, and have been preparing for that.