By The Times-Standard
01/14/16, 9:21 PM PST
What has become an annual tradition in Eureka, the “Red Carpet Gala,” will this year recognize 100 years of filmmaking in Humboldt and Del Norte counties on the biggest night of the year for movies, the 88th Academy Awards.
On Feb. 28 at the Eureka Theater, the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission and Eureka Theater will again join forces to invite the local community of filmmakers, vendors, enthusiast, location providers and everyone who loves movies and moviemaking to walk the red carpet and join them for this annual celebration — this year with a nod toward a special local milestone, the 100-year anniversary of filmmaking in the area.
“Ever since filmmakers Paul Hurst and J.P. McGowan shot their 1916 silent-era black and white movie “The Lass of Lumberlands” in California’s redwood region, cinematographers and photographers have been drawn to Humboldt and Del Norte counties to capture the stunning area visuals,” said Cassandra Hesseltine, film commissioner of the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission.
“We’ve made celebrating movies and moviemaking a part of the tradition of our historic theater, so we couldn’t be prouder to be a part of celebrating this amazing milestone,” said Wendy Petty, president of Eureka Theater’s board of directors.
From the redwood forests to the Pacific Coast Highway and everything in between, American filmmakers have captured the county’s unique locations, embraced the talent and energized the local economy with a steady stream of productions in every type of media.
Since 1939, the Eureka Theater has been home to every type of cinema and continues today to offer an array of films. The theater will be celebrating its 77th birthday the first week of March.
The picturesque counties have welcomed some of American cinemas most iconic films and filmmakers, including: “Star Wars: Episode VI-Return of the Jedi,” “Lost World: Jurassic Park” and “E.T.” to name only a few.
“The Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission opened its doors about 30 years ago,” Hesseltine said. “Today, we enable about 25 productions a year to shoot locally, earning the redwood region on average just over $1.3 million directly and $4 million indirectly from visiting productions.”
Three years ago, the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission and Eureka Theater launched their annual party called the “Red Carpet Gala” to celebrate movies on its biggest night of the year. Tickets include food stations, prizes and community awards, as well as a screening of the 2016 Academy Awards. Champagne and cocktails are available at a no-host bar. Doors open at 5 p.m. Feb. 28 at the historic Eureka Theater located at 612 F St. in Eureka.
Advance tickets to the event are $25 ($30 at the door) and can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets at www.redcarpet2016... or in person at Annex 39 Antiques in Eureka.