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Villaraigosa to co-host reception for Oscar nominees

March 3, 2010 |  7:21 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will co-host a pre-Oscars bash for award nominees Thursday night at the Getty House, the mayor’s official residence in Windsor Square.

The mayor is teaming up with the Hollywood Reporter to put on the inaugural red carpet “Nominees’ Night."

The Hollywood Reporter describes the event as a “cocktail reception” designed to be the opening celebration of the 2010 Academy Awards weekend and to honor this year’s nominees. The list of sponsors includes Microsoft Bing and L’Oreal Paris.

Sarah Hamilton, the mayor’s spokeswoman, said the city is “not paying a penny" to put on the party. L.A. is grappling with a $212-million budget shortfall, which is expected to more than double next year.

Hamilton said the event is also intended to draw attention to one of the “most important industries in the city and its biggest night." According to the mayor’s office, the entertainment industry employs more than 200,000 people locally and generates about $25 billion a year in the region.

The state's share of U.S. feature film production plunged to 31% in 2008, down from 66% in 2003, according to the California Film Commission. And only 57% of all TV pilots were shot in L.A. in 2009, down from 81% in 2004, according to FilmL.A.

Concerned about so-called runaway production to other locales, the mayor and Los Angeles City Council have pushed for incentives to keep film and television producers in L.A., including cutting red tape to film in city buildings and increasing the availability of parking spaces and power nodes downtown for generators. The council is also considering creating a special film commission to promote the local industry.

-- Phil Willon at L.A. City Hall