Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Robbys


“Fashion Through Film” theme

When Waynette Ballengee walks down the red carpet on Oscar weekend, she will wear the look of one of her favorite actresses.

“I am hoping to dress in a replica of a gown worn by Marilyn Monroe in the film ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,’” Ballengee said. “I love the color, the style and the silhouette. And who doesn’t want to be Marilyn for a few hours?” Ballengee won’t be at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. She will, however, be at the Robinson Film Center (RFC) in downtown Shreveport. Saturday, March 26 — the night before the Academy Awards — “The Robbys” will celebrate movies, actors and actresses, and their wardrobes.

Tickets for the 7 p.m. event are $125 for RFC members and $150 for non-RFC members.

“Oscar weekend is obviously important for film lovers,” said RFC Interim Executive Director Rich Hansil. “We’re about film, education, enrichment and entertainment, so (The Robbys) provides a place for people to come and talk about the movies that are coming out. If you come to The Robbys, you can have a great time, and you can absolutely ignore movies, or it’s a great place to come and talk to movie lovers.”

Just as traffic is restricted in front of the Dolby Theatre on Oscar night, the block of Texas Street in front of the RFC will be closed for The Robbys. A large tent will be home to food, drinks and dancing. Inside the RFC, a silent auction will feature both movie and nonmovie-themed items.

“We encourage people to dress like their favorite Hollywood stars,” Hansil said. “It does not have to be fancy. Just because James Bond always wears a tux, doesn’t mean you have to dress like James Bond. You can come dressed as Mad Max if you want.”

But, if you want to look like the 007 star ... “Every guy has tried to dress like James Bond at some point, right?” Hansil said. “If you’re putting on a suit or a tux, you want to be James Bond.”

Ballengee will keep her streak alive of attending each year it has been held since 2015.

“The evening is an exciting, glamorous night, celebrating the best of Hollywood,” Ballengee said. “I especially love the red carpet arrivals and the cheering paparazzi. It’s as close to Hollywood as most of us will ever get!” Food — a combination of heavy hors d’oeuvres, a carving station and “an amazing display of sweets and deserts to go with everything else” — will be provided by Tootie Morrison, a past winner of the Louisiana Food Prize.

Music will be courtesy of the popular band Windstorm, as well as a DJ.

“I hope people are exhausted from dancing too much, too full of delicious food — and have had some of our classic cocktails — and are going home with something amazing from our silent auction,” Hansil said.

But you may have to outbid Hansil for one particular item.

“There’s a poster that I’m going to try and bid on,” Hansil said. “It’s a John Wayne poster from ‘Rio Bravo’ that I’m super-excited about. It’s an original work.”

The Robbys will also feature a contest where you can win a Golden Ticket. That ticket will get you free movies, popcorn, snacks and drinks for a year.

“We will have a display of replica dresses from famous films throughout history,” Hansil explained. “People can guess (which dress is from which movie).”

The contest goes along with the theme for this year’s event, “Fashion Through Film.”

“Trends have been set by movies,” Hansil said. “Trends have been sunk by movies. If you look at any of the ’80s movies, John Hughes affected the way people dressed all across America. From watching ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ ‘Pretty in Pink,’ ‘16 Candles,’ that’s just one example.”

The Robbys is a major fundraiser for RFC, a non-profit organization.

“We don’t provide just the movies that you couldn’t see anywhere else in northwest Louisiana — as northwest Louisiana’s only arthouse theater,” Hansil said. “We also provide an education program. We have free K-12 programs for students all across northwest Louisiana. We do classes here at the theatre as well. We also do adult education and workforce development. We’ve been training people for the films coming (to town). I have three of my former students working on ‘The Blind’ right now, which is very exciting.”

To buy tickets to The Robbys, you may visit www.robinsonfilmcenter.org. You may also call the RFC box office at (318) 459-4122.


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