Valkyrie Premiere Looks to 1940s for Inspiration

For the premiere party for Valkyrie—a movie about the German resistance during World War II—Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists filled Jazz at Lincoln Center with velvet settees and drapes, vintage chandeliers, and hundreds of white flowers.

By Anna Sekula December 16, 2008, 3:55 PM EST

Valkyrie's 1940s look

Photo: Roger Dong

Although World War II and the German resistance don't typically conjure up images of European glamour and romance, last night's premiere party for historical drama Valkyrie brought to mind 1940s-style hotels and stately parlors. Hosted by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and United Artists, the late-night event filled Jazz at Lincoln Center's Atrium and adjacent Allen Room with custom furniture and vintage fixtures, all inspired by scenes from the film. And in keeping with the marketing campaign for the epic, the production and design team used a color palette of black, red, white, and gray.

Hired by MGM, Los Angeles-based Chris Benarroch of Benarroch Productions produced the party, working with the company’s executive vice president of theatrical marketing, Michael Vollman, and the senior vice president of national publicity and theatrical marketing, Kristin Borella.

Following the world premiere screening of the movie, which opens December 25 and stars Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy, and Kenneth Branagh as underground collaborators plotting to assassinate Hitler, hundreds of guests moved from the Rose Theater into the Atrium. There dozens of servers from Great Performances served plates of roast beef and other hearty dishes from buffet stations positioned around the room.

Shrouded in gray velvet drape, the room also held small seating areas comprised of custom gray tufted velvet settees, 1940s-style tables, and Oriental rugs. In the Allen room, tiers held more furniture, each grouping marked for V.I.P.s such as Cruise, as well as executives from MGM and United Artists. Vintage chandeliers hung from the ceiling, and towering vases of white gladioli and roses topped bars.

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