Warren Theatres owner Bill Warren says he loves the mystique of old Hollywood.
He loves walking through the Paramount Pictures studio, one of the oldest surviving film studios in the world. He loves staying at the recently renovated Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the site of the first-ever Academy Awards in 1929.
“I kind of like the history of Hollywood,” he said. “It’s a personal favorite of mine.”
Now, Warren is offering someone in Wichita the chance to explore his favorite Hollywood haunts. Warren is teaming up with The Wichita Eagle to give away a four-day, three-night trip for two to Hollywood that would include airfare, lodging at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, VIP tours of studios and stops at famous Hollywood landmarks such as the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The trip is valued at $3,500.
“I don’t know of anyone else doing a prize like this in the country,” Warren said. “This is really a neat prize, and more importantly, it’s a fun prize. I just think it’s something they’ll talk about for a long time.”
The winner of the contest will be the person who guesses the most categories correctly on an online Oscar’s ballot, which was posted Jan. 19 on the Wichita Eagle’s website, Kansas.com. Contestants have until 4 p.m. March 2, the day the Academy Awards are broadcast on ABC, to make their guesses in 24 categories, plus a tie breaker. Only one ballot is allowed for each person.
A second place winner in the contest will receive $200 in gift certificates to Warren Theatres, and a third-place winner will get $100 in gift certificates.
Only legal Kansas residents ages 21 and older are eligible to win the trip, but younger people can play, too. Contestants age 13 to 20 are eligible to fill out 10-category ballots in a separate contest and win Warren gift certificates: $150 for the first place winner, $100 for the second place winner and $50 for third.
The grand prize trip will include a personal tour guide. A member of Warren’s staff will accompany the winners and escort them around Hollywood.
They’ll dine in some famous Hollywood restaurants. And they may even run into some big-screen favorites.
“They’re going to get the private tour of some of the best studios in the world,” Warren said. “And who knows? They might bump into a big star. You never know about that.”
Wichita Eagle editor Sherry Chisenhall, a movie buff, said that the contest is a treat for the paper’s readers. The paper has been putting on a prediction contest for years, but never with this big of a prize.
“We’re excited to have Bill and his team partner with us on our annual Oscar contest,” she said. “I love movies and love the Oscars and their history. It’s cool to be able to offer our readers a contest with a chance to touch some of that.”