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LOS ANGELES Beverly Hills. It's nice and all, with its gracious mansions and generously spaced property lines, but homes in the landlocked city don't offer much in the way of ocean views. Not typically, that is.
For Saturday night's premiere party for 90210, the CW's update of the '90s high school drama, organizers recreated the look of a rich Beverly Hills home up the coast, taking over a Malibu lot on 300 feet of Pacific Ocean frontage south of the Pepperdine University campus. CBS vice president of talent relations and special events Ian Metrose oversaw the event for about 450 cast members, network and studio execs, affiliates, and press folks, tapping Inna Poncher of Poko Event Productions to produce and design it.
“I said to Inna, we're in a Beverly Hills mansion that just happens to be on the beach in Malibu,” said Metrose of his creative direction. ”But we didn't want to do that over-the-top look, the stereotype of people with money—we wanted to do something very classy.” Crystal chandeliers, custom furnishings, and a blanket of white carpeting created a luxe look under the party tent. On the beach, white ottoman seating surrounded glowing fire pits, and white and green cabanas dotted the sand. Since the lot is vacant and completely raw, organizers trucked in water, and built subflooring and stairs to the beach.
Outside, a raised display bearing the show's title towered nearly 10 feet high. Kinetic Lighting cast the foam numbers in changing LED lights—hues of aqua, hot pink, purple, and blue—to make them pop, and illuminated the Pacific as a dramatic backdrop. “It was absolutely breathtaking to walk in and see this beautiful lit 90210 with the lit ocean behind it," Poncher said.
A full dinner from chef Jon Fernow included multiple stations: a mashed potato bar, a seafood station with ahi and sea bass, a carving station with turkey and hot pastrami, and an Asian noodle bar complete with a wok. Dessert stations featured cupcakes and mousse shooters, and a cappuccino bar provided guests the fuel they needed for the midnight drive back down PCH to L.A. (Some guests arrived in limousines or cars on loan from GM for the evening.)
“The most magnificent thing was the location. There aren't too many lots out there like that," Poncher said.
The temperature on the idyllic late-summer day helped, too. “The weather was perfect,” Metrose said. ”We had heat lamps that we never turned on. It was the perfect day and night—it was stunning.”