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by Ken Pellman (archives)
October 9, 2003
Ken covers the 2003 THEA awards.

Themed Entertainment Association's 2003 Thea Awards Gala
10th Annual Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement.

The after-parties have finally ended, the dust has settled, and the 2003 Thea Awards Gala, held on Saturday, October 4, is behind us. You may have noticed the months of coverage in Entertainment Weekly, the weeks of coverage on E! Entertainment Television, Access Hollywood, and Entertainment Tonight. Joan Rivers was vicious as usual on the red carpet.

This year, this truly international event was held at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, and there was a TEA Conference - Selling Experience - held on Friday and Saturday in conjunction with the Gala.

The ceremony was more reserved and less flashy this year. For the most part, there were no sketches or bits, and the presenters were members of the nominating committee. Speaking of the committees- when deciding on award recipients, members with a direct connection to one of the nominated projects excuse themselves from the process.

Typically, the presenters would announce a winning project and a brief video detailing the winner would be shown. Then, two people were invited to the stage to accept each Thea awarded to a project and to speak - someone representing the owner, and someone representing the design team. I’m happy to report that there were no altercations.

The Thea Awards Reception started at 5 p.m., allowing people to drink, mingle, and look over the displays touting the winning projects.

A Legoland dinosaur watched over the revelers.

As the clock struck 6:30 p.m., the doors to the Los Angeles Room opened for the Thea Awards Gala Banquet. This year’s ceremony returned to a dinner setting instead of the theater setting of the previous two years.

This year's ceremony was themed to a family trip across the country with visits to themed entertainment venues. This was communicated through live music, live narration, and postcard montages.

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