Premiere Brings Miami Club Scene to L.A.

Universal Pictures’ big party set up a vintage 80’s Florida nightclub—complete with pool—in a Westwood parking lot.

August 9, 2006, 12:00 AM EDT

The Miami Vice premiere brought palm trees and 1,300 guests to a Westwood parking lot.

Miami Vice world premiere Westwood parking lot Thursday, 07.20.06, 10 PM to 1:30 AM
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Miami isn’t just the U.S. gateway for South American drug lords, making it the subject of both the 80’s TV series and new film Miami Vice—it’s also arguably the party capital of the East Coast. So to throw a huge bash for the film’s world premiere, Universal Pictures took a tip from the professional party pack in Miami and created an outdoor nightclub.

“We were going for a cool Miami hot club feel,” said Hollace Davids, Universal’s senior vice president of special projects. “In Miami, because it’s so steamy, it’s not uncommon to have cool party environments around the pool or outdoors.”

Universal constructed the party for 1,300 on a parking lot down the block from the two Mann theaters in Westwood that held the screenings—the Bruin and the Village—but the ambience was strictly Miami Beach, emphasis on “beach.” Surrounding the perimeter were palm trees and cabanas draped in filmy white fabric. Some of the cabanas housed white ottomans piped in black and photos of Santo Domingo, where the studio partly filmed the $135 million movie. Others held poster-size shots of stars Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell as Ricardo Tubbs and Sonny Crockett.

Other seating sat near a square pool lit in changing colors on the fringe of the V.I.P. area. The pool had white padded cushions along the edge, inviting guests to dip their toes. Poolside seating was an experiment for Universal, which is trying to create unconventional gathering places. Davids didn’t declare it a complete success. “Part of the problem was, the parking lot wasn’t as flat as it could have been,” she said. “We expected it to be more level.”

Girls in hooded silver minis, outfits inspired by the club scene in the film, danced on an X-shaped runway near the entrance. Guests joined the party on a 24-square-foot square dance floor nearby, under the gaze of DJ Diallo Riddle, who spun an eclectic mix of hip-hop and music from the movie.

But the visual focal point lay deeper inside, where a large truss lit by a constantly changing swirl of colors surrounded a circular bar. Over the bar were metal frame boxes covered in red PVC film, each holding three crystal chandeliers. But no long lines were visible either at the bars or the 24 buffets, where guests munched on expertly prepared basics like ribs, chicken, and Caesar salad.

Irene Lacher

Posted 08.09.06

Photos: Line 8 Photography

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