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Kenversations - 2002 Thea Awards Ceremony
Well folks, so much is going on these days. Disney has been in the news a lot, and there is so much to talk about. However, this is the time of year the themed entertainment industry pauses to gather and reflect on recent accomplishments. The films have the Oscars®; theme park creators have the Thea Awards. The Thea Awards started in 1994, with a single award, Lifetime Achievement, presented to Harrison "Buzz" Price. The Themed Entertainment Association, which presents the awards, has only been around since 1991, and consists of the folks who create theme parks and related venues.
This isn't going to be your typical "objective" report. I am too much of an admirer of the industry and enjoyed the evening too much for something like that. This is my experience of the evening. As this is a Disney-focused site, my account focuses more on Disney's projects.
On Saturday, September 28, I donned my tux, told the spiders and ants that are suddenly overpopulating my home to baby-sit each other, and ventured into the deepest, darkest part of Hollywood, to El Capitan. Most Disnoids in southern California know this, but for the benefit of folks who don't know: El Capitan is on Hollywood Boulevard across from the Hollywood & Highland complex, and is an old, single-screen theatre that Disney helped restore and now runs. The west coast premieres of Disney's films are done here, often accompanied with live shows and activities themed to the films.
Neither the season's first rain nor the hordes of odd Barbara Streisand fans camped out for her performance taking place across the street the following night could deter me. Okay, I didn't come across any hordes of Babs fans. I just liked the image such a statement conjured.
Anyway, I arrived at 5:30 p.m. for the pre-ceremony reception at the event center. Food and drink abounded and soon the place was filled with lively creative types and those who manage them, all dressed up for the special occasion. You don't get many opportunities to chow down on tasty food while carrying on casual conversation with people all over this industry - an industry that entertains and educates hundreds of millions of people a year in remarkable safety. It was a chance to bump into some old friends and coworkers while covering an exciting event for you, the LaughingPlace.com reader. Thanks for sending me. It is a tough job, but someone has to do it. 😉
Mr. & Mrs. Richard Sherman are not only photogenic, they're pleasant folks, too.
It was nice to talk with Carol Mumford, known in Disney circles as a Disneyana collector and wife of Imagineer and author David Mumford. As the Fabulous Disney Babe mentioned in her column a while back, David has been ill. Lots of well wishers chatted with Carol.
After a couple of hours that seemed to fly by, it was time for this year's ceremony, themed to begin. We all made our way down the red carpet and took our seats inside the beautiful theatre.