Guests should be dressed in black tie and vintage elegance.
A red carpet lined with vintage spotlights. Set up an area with a ‘step and repeat’ or lovely background for photographs. A large foam core Oscar statue would also be a great touch. Consider hiring a photographer that can snap shots upon arrival, print during the party, and have the photos ready for keepsake gifts at the end of the evening.
Guests should be greeted with a signature cocktail and lots of Champagne.
The main room where the dinner party is being held should have a gold theme as the Oscars are all about gold. Consider accents of black and silver.
Dishes could be passed or served in courses (consider timing between the large award announcements) and should feature classic items such as lobster thermidor and beef wellington. You can offer the decadence of caviar without the price tag with American Hackleback blinis. Have a little fun and name the dishes after nominated movies or celebrities. Dessert should be a show stopper. If you have the room, consider a flaming dessert such as a baked Alaska or bananas Foster, or create a beautiful treat with flakes of gold detailing.
For an old Hollywood feel, set the tables with gold lamé, linen, and black or white napkins. Another option is a black cloth with gold napkins tied with mini-Oscar statuettes. For a vintage feel, wrap the napkins with a gardenia. Place cards could be draped with pearls for the ladies and bowties for the gentlemen. The lighting scheme should be low with a lot of votives. If the party is taking place during the Academy Awards, skip the music and play all of the action on a wide screen TV.
Keep your guests amused by using Oscar ballots to interact with the Academy Awards. Have each guest fill out the ballot before the ceremony begins and award points for each correct answer. The guest with the highest score at the end of the evening can get a bottle of wine or chocolate Oscar as a going home present.