By Michael O'Connell Posted December 21, 2009, 1:43 PM EST
After a world premiere in London earlier in the week, Warner Brothers continued to promote the Christmas release of Sherlock Holmes with a North American premiere in New York on Thursday.
The night included a festive red carpet for stars Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams; a screening for 1,000 at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall; and a party for more than 500 at the Metropolitan Club, where event producers recreated the film's Victorian aesthetic with antique furniture and costumed actors.
Warner Brothers vice president of special events Courtney Saylor hired 15/40 Productions to produce and design the arrivals area, which included a faux-brick facade on the step-and-repeat, and Los Angeles event producers Along Came Mary to take the lead on the party.
Guests, who arrived from the screening on buses, were greeted by a vintage buggy drawn by two horses and ushered into the Metropolitan Club by doormen dressed in Victorian garb. There, the venue's seasonal decor of wreaths and evergreens got a thematic boost from more than 100 pieces of 19th century furniture.
“From the beginning, this party was going to be a period piece, so I hired a prop master in Los Angeles to track down all of the Victorian furniture,” said Along Came Mary founder and owner Mary Micucci. Each item were sourced by freelance prop master Jeff Bell from studios around Los Angeles, including Warner Brothers' own prop house. All of the furniture, as well as linens, traveled across the country on a semitruck earlier in the week. “All of the furniture he found was all different colors, but they blended well.”
Arrivals received a soundtrack of classical music from a full band, but as soon as the party was in full swing, DJ David Chang played a mix of lounge music from Diana Krall, Michael Bublé, and Ella Fitzgerald.
The buffet menu—from the in-house catering team at the Metropolitan Club—included classic English fare such as roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and trifle. At the base of a giant ice sculpture shaped like London's Big Ben clock tower and Tower Bridge, there was also an assortment of seafood, including clams, jumbo shrimp, and oysters on the half shell.
“Between the venue and what we brought in, the party ended up feeling just so appropriate for this movie,” Micucci said. At the very least, it worked for Robert Downey Jr., who broke some unspoken celebrity code by lingering until 1 a.m.