June 26, 2018: Oscars Board Invites Record 928 New Members, Anthony Bourdain Food Trail Could Open in New Jersey, Comic-Con Observers Say Event Will Still Be Relevant Without HBO and Marvel

By Ian Zelaya June 26, 2018, 7:08 AM EDT

1. OSCARS BOARD INVITES RECORD 928 NEW MEMBERS: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited a record 928 new members. The Hollywood Reporter: “That number is higher than the 774 invitations that were sent out in 2017. As the Academy has sought to diversify its ranks, it invited in 683 new members in 2016 and 322 in 2015 in a concerted effort to include more women, people of color and filmmakers from around the world. The massive list of new invitees ranges from actress Quvenzhane Wallis, an Oscar nominee for 2012's Beasts of the Southern Wild, who at age 14, is the youngest, to the composer Sofia Gubaidulina (The Killing of the Sacred Deer, Mary Queen of Scotts), who at 86, is the oldest. Forty-nine percent of the class of 2018 are female, and, should all accept membership, that will bring overall percentage of women in the Academy to 31 percent. Thirty-eight percent of the new members are people of color, bringing their overall percentage in the Academy to 16 percent. Among the new members, 17 are Oscar winners, while 92 are Oscar nominees, including recent acting nominees like Call Me By Your Name's Timothy Chalamet and Get Out's Daniel Kaluuya. … At the beginning of 2016, the Academy's 6,241 voting members were approximately 92 percent white and 75 percent male. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who was then the Academy president, backed by the board of governors, vowed that the organization would double its number of women and diverse members by 2020, and in order to meet that goal, the Academy has stepped up the number of new members it invites each year.”

2. ANTHONY BOURDAIN FOOD TRAIL COULD OPEN IN NEW JERSEY: The death of Anthony Bourdain on June 8 has lead an assemblyman in the chef and TV personality's home state of New Jersey to consider establishing a trail that recognizes the restaurants he visited. New York Daily News: “New Jersey Assemblyman Paul Moriarty introduced a resolution on June 18 that would establish the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail, highlighting the 10 New Jersey eateries Bourdain visited in a 2015 episode of his CNN food and travel show, Parts Unknown. ... The New Jersey eateries that would be included on the trail are Kubel’s in Barnegat Light; Hiram’s Roadstand in Fort Lee; Knife and Fork in Atlantic City; Dock’s Oyster House in Atlantic City; Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City; Tony and Ruth Steaks in Camden; Donkey’s Place in Camden; Lucille’s Country Cooking in Barnegat; Frank’s Deli in Asbury Park; and James’ Salt Water Taffy in Atlantic City. A tourism food trail is a collection of related restaurants promoted as a group that tourists may want to visit. Other well-known food trails include New Mexico’s Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail and the Mississippi Seafood Trail. Whether or not this trail is approved, Anthony Bourdain will be remembered for decades in the food world, thanks in part to these 11 ways he changed it forever."

3. COMIC-CON OBSERVERS SAY EVENT WILL STILL BE RELEVANT WITHOUT HBO AND MARVEL: Despite the fact that Comic-Con International mainstays HBO and Marvel won’t be in attendance this year, observers say that next month’s convention will still be relevant. San Diego Union-Tribune: “Despite official explanations from studios about scheduling issues, this year’s absence of franchises that never fail to pack the Convention Center’s legendary Hall H with 6,500 screaming super fans has raised some doubts about Comic-Con’s cachet in the entertainment world. Is it no longer the epicenter of Hollywood’s marketing machine for superhero-centric films, TV zombies and aliens, and romantic fantasy, wondered some of the buzz? For those in the business of mounting these gargantuan tributes to popular entertainment and all things comic books, consternation over the no-shows is overblown. There are plenty of examples, they say, of where a studio misses a convention one year and returns two or three years later. Better not to rush a much anticipated trailer in time for Comic-Con and risk bad reviews from devoted fans who are one tap of a finger away from Twitter and Instagram. In an interview last week, Comic-Con International spokesman David Glanzer attributed the periodic absence of big franchises to the cyclical nature of the convention scene, which means a high profile studio may sit out a year, but come back in force the next. … As San Diego’s Comic-Con has steadily mushroomed in size and popularity over the years so, too, has the sheer number of comics-centric conventions around the U.S. and the world. There are dozens of similar gatherings across the country, from Baltimore and Boston to New York and Detroit. While there is healthy competition among the largest such enterprises, they all still are at the mercy of studios’ distribution schedules as to which marquee properties are showcased at a particular convention—and which ones are not. New York Comic Con, for example, is not a regular stop for ‘Game of Thrones’ but it is for AMC’s ‘Walking Dead,’ which tends to premier each season not long after New York’s October convention. ReedPop, which produces the New York convention along with more than 30 other pop culture events, estimates that 227,000 will be coming to this year’s Comic Con.”


BOSTON:  The Envoy Hotel has unveiled its redesigned Lookout Rooftop, which will open to the public in July. The $4 million renovation added nearly 2,500 square feet of outdoor space and the new Harbor Lounge, a space for V.I.P.s and private events that offers plush lounge seating and views of the harbor. The rooftop can hold as many as 390 guests for receptions. 

LAS VEGAS:  The 30th edition of Live Design International (L.D.I.) will take place October 15-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The live design trade show will have more than 400 exhibitors and expects to host more than 14,000 attendees.  

LOS ANGELES:  The 38th annual Lotus Festival will take place July 14-15 at Echo Park. The event will honor the Chinese community and feature food, art, a gift bazaar, and dragon boat races. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour Miami will undergo new room and suite designs mid-August in an effort to create a brighter ambience. The project is slated to culminate in November. 

NEW YORK:  Town Stages, a female-driven cultural arts venue in Tribeca, will have its grand opening celebration June 26. The multi-use event space can hold as many as 225 people standing. 

Grand Central Terminal is celebrating two milestones this year with a series of events beginning this month through October. To mark the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that saved the terminal, Grand Central will host Taste of the Terminal today through Thursday, offering guests free food and product samples from vendors. The terminal will also have a 40th anniversary photo installation and live music in Vanderbilt Hall. Additionally, the terminal will launch an exhibition in Vanderbilt Hall in September by the Municipal Art Society of New York in partnership with the New York Transit Museum, showcasing the history of the Committee to Save Grand Central’s advocacy campaign. Grand Central also will host “Dining Concourse in Concert” lunchtime music series on Tuesdays in July and August, with musical acts performing ‘90s hits. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

SAN FRANCISCO:  The eighth annual Polk Street Blues Festival will take place August 18-19. The event is produced by Steven Restivo Event Services. 

TORONTO:  This year’s Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival will take place July 7-August 12. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  M.P.I. Potomac’s annual Evening of the Stars meeting and awards dinner took place June 21 at the St. Regis. Amy Lippincott of Technical Resources International, Inc. was awarded planner of the year; Annalisa Berryhill was awarded supplier of the year; Lura Bobbitt of American Iron and Steel Institute was awarding rising star of the year; the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority was given the marketplace excellence award; Shelli Vasser Gilliam of Vasser Gilliam L.L.C. was awarded distinguished leader; Anthony Molino of Choose Chicago was awarded chapter leader; Career Development Committee was awarded committee of the year; and John D’Adamo of BizBash was given the president’s award. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Ian Zelaya, and Kristine Liao in New York.

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