Well, not exactly new (it's all been told before), but NPR's Susan Stamberg has some fun with the Aidikoff Screening Room in Bev Hills, where Academy members have been watching the nominated films - and one of the many venues around town where directors can gauge reaction to their rough cuts and critics can preview an upcoming release.
At a recent screening for members of the Motion Picture Academy, Aidikoff grins as visitors grab handfuls of brightly wrapped candies en route to their seats. "People say, 'Why don't you have popcorn?' " Aidikoff says with a laugh. "You know what I tell them? 'I'll get popcorn on one condition: That you stay after and you clean up.' Suddenly they don't want popcorn." So instead he sets out little packages of Mars bars, Milky Ways and Red Vines. It costs $700 every two-and-a-half weeks to keep this Hollywood Halloween bowl filled, Aidikoff says. As the audience settles into their seats, Aidikoff offers an introduction -- and a few ground rules. "OK, folks, my name is Charles Aidikoff. This is my little establishment," he says. "This is what is known as a cellphone. It would be very nice if you all pushed the little button and turned it off."