A Guide to Hollywood's New Year's Eve Parties

Lightsaber El Capitan - H 2015
Courtesy of Disney

'Star Wars' party at El Capitan, Gatsby at Day After or Cleopatra's New Years Eve at the Egyptian.

The time is New Year's Eve, the place is Hollywood and that means movies.

So if you feel like combining a thirst for champagne with a craving for celluloid, you could do a lot worse than TCL Chinese Theatre with EDM acts such as L.A. Riots, Carlo Astuti and Sean Cutter. Admission is $59, but that only gets you in the door. If you want to party like a movie star, it will cost $400 for the Fred & Ginger champagne package for two. The James Dean platinum VIP package for 8 is slightly steeper at $1,440 for a table with 3 premium bottles of assorted spirits and 2 bottles of champagne. There’s no club more exclusive than the Rat Pack, but to be like them it will cost you $6,000 for a party of 15, which includes the best table in the house, 3 magnums of top shelf and 2 magnums of Dom.

Egyptian costumes are suggested but not required a few blocks away at Sid Grauman’s other famous movie palace for Cleopatra’s New Years Eve, rocking right through to sun up. Danny Olson, DJ Shanto and Five Star are just a few of the 10 DJs that will lay down Top 40, hip-hop and house beats on two dance floors, inside and out on the sprawling courtyard. Should the light and laser show have your swimming mind drifting to parts unknown, fear not as a raft of go-go dancers will put you back on course.

For Star Wars fans...

If you love Star Wars (or even if you don’t), you’ve probably already seen The Force Awakens. But if you haven’t, then now’s your chance to do it in style at Hollywood’s historic El Capitan Theatre, where $100 will get you popcorn and a drink and a look at some of the props, costumes and production art that went into making the record-breaking movie. When the final credits roll, it’s time to head over to Madame Tussaud's Hollywood Museum, where a rooftop silent disco dance party, in which revelers rock to music on wireless headphones, will be presented by HUSHconcerts. An appetizer and dessert buffet might fill out whatever room remains after the popcorn, and the first two drinks are on the house.

Club options...

Between the midnight sky and the Walk of Fame, you’ll find yourself in a sea of stars at the NYElectric W Hollywood rooftop party, where DJs will spin and luxe libations will flow. The cheapest ticket is $200 for access to the bar. If you want a patio table for two and a choice of Grey Goose or Veuve Clicquot, you’re looking at $1,250. But if you really want to splurge, take the Top VIP Sky Cabana with stunning views of the downtown skyline and Hollywood Hills, including 15 bar tickets, four bottles of Grey Goose, Patron or Johnny Walker Black, plus two bottles of Dom Perignon. It’s a steal at a mere $3,500.

If all of this sounds a bit too Hollywood, you could step back in time to the Roaring '20s at Day After Mega Club. That’s where they’ll be hosting a Gatsby House 2016 party, encouraging, but not requiring, top hats and tails for him and flapper frocks for her. You might try dancing the Charleston to DJ Prophet’s beats, or sit back at a private booth in Gatsby’s VIP section overlooking the dance floor with four bottles of your choice of Grey Goose, Patron or Johnny Walker Black. It may seem a tad excessive at $1,950, but it comes with a private restroom, if that’s any consolation.

And more...

Or maybe you need a break from the cars and concrete, in which case a trip on the high seas might fit the bill. There’s always the Long Beach fireworks cruise with three decks, five DJs and three dance floors full of Top 40, hip-hop and EDM to keep your feet moving, and the ubiquitous Grey Goose will keep your head swimming. Prices vary, but $150 per person will get you to the open bar and appetizers. And for those who want the best, the Diamond VIP table package covers admission for a party of 10, three bottles of vodka and a seat near DJ Andy V on the SKY deck, depending on availability.

If no dancing, no DJs and no vodka is a bit more your speed, then try bidding 2015 adieu with a bite at Viviane Restaurant in the mid-century elegance of The Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills. There you can enjoy a year-end smorgasbord at the hand of Chef Michael Hung, formerly of San Francisco’s Michelin-starred La Folie. The multi-course tasting menu offers an assortment of flavors including caviar amuse-bouche, smoked Kampachi with a kohlrabi remoulade and wild rice. Foie gras is also on the menu, as is butter poached Pacific cod in a toasted almond broth. But save room for the Valhrona chocolate tart in a sable breton with kumquat confiture and blood orange sauce. Wash it down with a champagne toast at midnight and end the year $125 lighter in the wallet, but uncommonly richer in the waistline.

Bonus points if you make it to sunup, because the hangover brunch at Viviane’s begins at 7 a.m. That’s when you can quash that queasy feeling with an egg and porchetta ham hoagie with jack cheese and housemade hot sauce, or the hash browns with duck confit. Roasted mushroom bread pudding sounds like just the thing to soak up whatever bubbly still bubbles in your belly. Diehards will want to line up for Ryan Wainright’s San Francisco Rooster Shot — made from freshly pressed wheatgrass juice, OJ and Tapatio tequila — before saying good morning to 2016.