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Oscars get a Folsom treatment with this party

By: Margaret Snider, Telegraph Correspondent
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While the 85th annual Academy Awards will be hosted this year by Seth MacFarlane and broadcast on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 24, another party will be the talk of Folsom.

Each year, Folsom’s Babe Poe throws an Oscar party, and this year will mark the 20th anniversary of her “award winning” party.

The theme is An Elegant Affair and many of the 30 guests, there by invitation only, will dress up for the occasion.

Poe has had a lifelong ardor for movies, delighting in them since she was 5 years old.

“I could get into the movies free just by a bottle cap that had a star on the Coke bottle,” Poe said. “I would sit there all day on Saturday from morning ‘til night, seeing the newsreel, seeing the cartoons, seeing double features.”

She still spends a lot of time at the movies and said she has seen probably 99 percent of those nominated for awards in 2013.

While some people wait for movies to come out on DVD, Poe says she likes to see them in the theater.

“I like the roar of the crowd, the smell of the popcorn, talking to people after the theater, because everybody’s on a holiday,” Poe said. “When they come out of a movie theater, they’ve forgotten their own problems, because there are problems worse on the screen.”

Not only does she watch the movies, but she is a collector.

“I save all my tickets for all the movies I go to,” Poe said. She also has thousands of movie promotional pins, as well as thousands of movies themselves on DVD, and all sorts of mementoes.

Chuck Tarlow used to work at Hewlett Packard in San Jose with Poe.

“Babe is very much into movies,” Tarlow said. “I went with her to a lot of movies, and she’d always approach the manager with ‘What have you got in the way of memorabilia?’ And she walked away with a lot of posters. She plastered her house with posters on the wall.”

Tarlow will be coming all the way from his home in Los Angeles to attend this year’s affair.

Poe had twenty people at her first Oscar party, and they watched the ceremony on a 19-inch TV. One year while living in San Jose, she invited more than 200 people.

“I can’t even pick up the album, I took so many pictures,” Poe said. “That was the year I went as Marie Antoinette, with a 50 pound wig on my head, and the title was Babe Lost Her Head over the Oscars.”

She goes all out with posters on the walls, favors for the guests, and raffle prizes, all related to the movies. As guests arrive, they find the ground strewn with gold stars, each with the name of one of the guests, and each gets to take a star home. The room this year will feature a big screen TV and in the breaks everyone can fill out their voting ballot and answer movie trivia questions. Poe gives a prize for first, second, and third place for guessing the most winners correctly.

Celeste Salvador of Folsom, whose family owns Teriyaki Station, met Poe when Poe came to the restaurant with her niece. Last year was the first Oscar party Salvador attended. She has a 12-year-old and says as a result she likes superhero movies. She didn’t do well on last year’s voting.

Given this year’s theme, she will be wearing a purple dress she bought to attend a wedding.

“I’m excited to see all the guests dressed up,” Salvador said. “Hopefully the men will wear top hats.”

Salvador said that Poe has a big Oscar statue, a place to take pictures, food in one corner, and photo albums of all her previous Oscar parties in another. She has place settings on the tables, silverware, popcorn, candy.

“She goes all out,” Salvador said. “She has a good heart.”

Poe begins planning for her next year’s Oscar party the day after her present one. For her, it’s something she has to do.

“It’s just my passion,” she said.