It's 100 feet long, custome-made and the first thing some 1,400 guests will see when they enter the massive party tent adjacent to the Shrine Exposition Center after Jan. 29's SAG Awards ceremony: a diamond-shaped geometric structure hanging inside.
"It's built out of aluminum and suspended from the apex of the tent," says Tony Schubert, who has organized the post-awards gala for four years and knows how important a statement the decoration must make during the mere seven-minute rush of attendees pouring in from the ceremony.
That's just one highlight of the SAG Awards Gala, which benefits the SAG Foundation and is co-sponsored for a 16th year by People magazine and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Guests will be greeted by four buffet stations offering raviolini Bolognese, Vietnamese stir-fry and grilled king salmon among other delicacies. They'll leave with a gift bag filled with items including products by L'Oreal Paris and gift cards for Prive salon and Beverly Hills fitness studio Physique 57. Meanwhile, the look of the place will be pure nostalgia. "We decided to do a nod to old Hollywood with a modern twist," says Schubert. "We're incorporating vintage film reels on the walls, ashtrays you might have seen at the Stork Club back in the day and massive calla lily arrangements."
Those elements are being installed at a breakneck pace that began Jan. 20 and has staffers working 12- to 14-hour days. But on awards night, Schubert will face his biggest test -- the weather: "It always rains on us," he says.