For the television audience, the Oscars are a night of derision, boredom, and secret, desperate longing. Primarily, though, its about television: You should be in front of one. Local moviehouses turn their screens into giant ones, allowing people to think, if they squint and eat mushrooms, that they are part of the real audience. The venue makes a difference: For those who enjoy providing or overhearing running commentary on what famous people look like, try the Oscar Telecast Champagne Party at the Castro Theatre (www.castrotheatre.com). Set in a respectable filmhouse, the Oscar Party at the Balboa (www.balboamovies.com) promises good-natured and responsible viewing. For those who enjoy some of those things, but mostly none of them, the Up the Oscars Benefit Bash at the Roxie (www.roxie.com) guarantees the most carefree, laugh-at-Mickey-Rourkes-fake-mustache viewing and food and drink are allowed inside. For its part, the Red Vic is showing The Muppet Movie. Theres something wonderful about that.
The Oscars start at 5 p.m. in a movie house near you. See Web sites for details.
Sun., Feb. 22, 5 p.m., 2009