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Annual St. Helena tea party celebrates cinema and the Cameo

By Published On: June 12, 20245 min readViews: 1460 Comments on Annual St. Helena tea party celebrates cinema and the Cameo
Residents of Vineyard Valley Mobile Home Park shared a taste of Hollywood glamor — or more like a dainty sip of it — during the park’s movie-themed tea party and fashion show on June 1.
This year the Vineyard Valley Homeowners Association chose a cinematic theme for the annual event, in which male butlers serve tea and bites to ladies dressed in their finest.
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A “Barbie”-themed table at the Vineyard Valley tea party featured a plethora of pink.

Each table chose a different movie, from “Titanic” to “Barbie” to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” with corresponding outfits and decorations.
Eve Breckenridge chose an off-the-beaten-path documentary she saw at the Cameo: “Somm: Cup of Salvation,” about an Armenian father and daughter who set out to revive their country’s winemaking tradition, using grapes grown in Iran and turned into wine in neighboring Armenia. Some of the decorations featured an Armenian flag and an Iranian flag, separated by a dove symbolizing peace.
“We actually had wine from Armenia that they talked about making in the movie,” Breckenridge said.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Guests donned saris at a table celebrating the India-set film “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

The guest of honor was Cathy Buck, proprietor of the Cameo Cinema, which she described as perhaps the oldest single-screen theater in the country and one of about two dozen still operating.

She said the Cameo has come to rely on donations to cover 40% of its budget as studios keep claiming a bigger cut of ticket prices. The theater has also emphasized special programs like the annual Fork2Film Festival, filmmaker Q&As, concerts, and the ongoing CinemaBites series, which continues with the Mexican culinary documentary “The Michoacan Files” on June 17.

“We’re going strong, as long as the community still comes,” Buck said. “We have survived all the challenges because of you.”

She also promised that Francis Ford Coppola’s “Megalopolis,” which screened at the Cannes Film Festival but hasn’t found a U.S. distributor, will show at the Cameo, probably this fall.

Janet Schmidt chaired this year’s tea party. Joyce Cahill, Ellen Cotton, Robin McGuire, Chris Killion, Ann Marie Clifford and Eve Breckenridge modeled outfits from Daisy during a fashion show coordinated by Cahill. Breckenridge created a Hollywood-themed red carpet and stage backdrop.

Gift certificates and door prizes were donated by Safeway, Sunshine Foods, Steves Housewares, Snowden Vineyards, Brasswood Bakery, Long Meadow Ranch, St. Helena Bistro and Woodhouse Chocolate.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

A tea set inspired by the Audrey Hepburn film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Robin McGuire

Robin McGuire models an outfit from Daisy.

Anne Marie Clifford

Anne Marie Clifford walks the runway during the fashion show portion of Vineyard Valley’s annual tea party.

Doctor Zhivago

Russian dolls were the centerpiece of a table honoring the classic “Doctor Zhivago.”

Ines Chiarello

Ines Chiarello puts the finishing touches on treats served at the Vineyard Valley tea party and fashion show.

Mike Greensill

Mike Greensill plays the piano during the Vineyard Valley tea party and fashion show.

You can reach Jesse Duarte at 707-967-6803 or

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