Red carpet, Vancouver style

Oscars celebrated at Kiggins Theatre in true Hollywood fashion

By Dave Kern, Columbian assistant metro editor

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photoJoe Yosso

They glided across the 25-foot-long red carpet as if in Hollywood: starlets, glamour queens and leading men in tuxedos.

Under the Kiggins Theatre marquee, they described their gowns to fashion luminaries who call Clark County home.

It was "Vancouver Goes Hollywood" on Sunday night at the 1936-era Kiggins.

An estimated 150 attended the soiree sponsored by the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and the Kiggins. The Hough Foundation was involved, too, raising money by pouring James Bond-style cocktails for guests dressed to the nines.

They arrived in a silver limo-bus and were greeted and announced over the sound system by civic/social enthusiasts and bloggers Gary Bock and Jim Mains. Video of those arriving played on the Kiggins big screen before guests watched a live streaming broadcast of the Academy Awards at the iconic theater on Vancouver's Main Street.

While a canopy covered the red carpet, it wasn't needed as sunshine ruled.

"Work it," photographer Barbara Hill called to Teresa Lawwill, stunning in her black gown.

"The earrings and ring are from Erik Runyan Jewelers and worth $13,000," said Lawwill, a marketer for the chamber. Then she revealed that her two daughters (Erica and Courtney) were wearing another $73,000 in borrowed bling from Runyan's.

Lynzee Lamb, 25, of Vancouver chatted with Seth Aaron Henderson (Season 7 winner of TV's Project Runway) about her aquamarine full-length gown and plum-colored heels. "It's by an independent designer, Diane," she said. "He (Seth Aaron) was really interested in where I got my dress from."

"She's a fashion diva," announced Karen Groves, who turned out to be Lynzee's mom. Groves was in a faux fur stole and a beige gown with a black overlay. "It's very Fifties," Groves said.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the Woodsides," announced greeter Bock, as Jeff and Kimberly Woodside stepped out of the silver limo.

Jeff Woodside was happy to chat, saying he was with three nominees, including Kimberly for the best actress award.

"I want to wish you luck on that best liar award," Bock quipped.

Bock and Mains were in character, right down to their expensive shoes, black-and-white wingtips for Bock and black ostrich beauties for Mains, who called the shoes AA3s. That meant they borrowed the shoes from Vancouver development and property businessman Al Angelo III.

Vancouver’s Joe Yosso said “a lot of people” were mistaking him for film great Martin Scorsese. He was in a black tux and announced wife Linda was in a “red, sexy dress” with a fur cape.

Kiggins owner Dan Wyatt was in a white dinner jacket. “I went Goldfinger, James Bond,” he said, noting the Vancouver event featured contests including a James Bond look-alike award.

The drinks at the bar included three Bond specials: Skyfall, a martini; Auric Goldfinger, Kentucky bourbon and goldschlager; and Pussy Galore, pink lemonade vodka, 7-Up and a cherry.

“We’re trying to replicate the experience of going to the Oscars as best we can,” Wyatt said. He purchased the Kiggins nearly a year ago. “It (the Oscar event) is right up our alley. I’ve been calling it my Super Bowl. I’m not a big sports fan, but I love the movies.”

Back on the red carpet, Kristy Weaver, with a va-va-va-voom black sequined gown, announced, “I’m channeling Mae West.”

She said the dress was “from my personal collection,” and confided her jewels were “the best plastic that can be found.”

Weaver is a senior vice president of Pacific Continental Bank.

“I think this is the first red-carpet event in downtown Vancouver,” said Byron Jacobus, one of the promoters working to bring back a Vancouver float to Portland’s Grand Floral Parade. Dressed in a red chamber ambassador’s jacket, he added that the Kiggins has “the best popcorn in town.”

“We wanted to bring an event to Vancouver that was different” said Kelly Parker, CEO of the chamber. “This event brings an opportunity to showcase the remarkable improvements to the Kiggins Theatre, one of Vancouver’s treasures.”

And a smiling Lawwill said: “We know our little Vancouver isn’t Hollywood, but we can have fun, too, and what a venue.”