How Oscars night at the Prytania Theatre is ‘as if you were there!’

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NEW ORLEANS -- Decades ago, many of New Orleans' neighborhoods had their own, small movie theaters. Only one of them, the Prytania Theatre, remains open.

The theater enjoys a steady stream of loyal customers, but Oscars night is one of the business' biggest days of the year.

"We've been doing this for so long, it's become an annual event for most people," theater owner Robert Brunet tells WGNO. "It's the way they enjoy the Oscars as if they were there."

The theater rolls out a red carpet and brings in the photographers, movie experts and live music to help this Oscars party measure up to something you'd find in Hollywood. There is also trivia and predictions, all with prizes.

The Prytania Theatre is 106 years old this year. Over the past century, it has seen competition from vaudeville to VCRs, mega-monster-multiplex theaters to Netflix. The Academy Awards party is a report card of sorts for the business which has proven that a small, one-screen neighborhood theater can still provide film fans with the best selection from every genre.

"With one screen, we try to pick and choose the best movies here. It's always interesting when we book this to say, hey, we played 20 of these films or 30 of these films. We enjoy that," Brunet says.

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