By Jason Sweeney
SAN RAMON -- When you watch the stars walk down the red carpet on Oscar night, be sure to keep an eye out for Cynthia and Rex Bordwell.
The San Ramon couple will be up in the bleachers cheering as Jennifer Lawrence, Denzel Washington, Ben Affleck and the rest of the stars walk past.
To get the plum seats, the Bordwells and about 200 others won a lottery and beat out more than 20,000 others who applied for red carpet bleacher seats this year.
Winners pay for their own hotel and transportation to Hollywood, but they get two free tickets to be a part of the audience in front of the Dolby Theatre on Feb. 24. This year's ticket winners will be flying in from India, Canada and from all around the United States, said an Academy representative.
They'll be served breakfast, lunch and drinks. Once the show starts they'll be taken to another location for dinner where they'll watch the show on a big screen.
"It's going to be a really fun day," Cynthia Bordwell said.
Bordwell, 56, said she has had a fascination with celebrities ever since she was a little girl growing up in Pittsburgh, Penn. Her mother was a fan of the Oscars and would let her stay up late and they would watch the awards show together.
"We loved all the glitz and glamour and watching them come in," she said. "Growing up on the East Coast, it seemed like Hollywood was a million miles away."
She and her husband Rex, 64, have lived in San Ramon for the past eight years and commute together to jobs in Silicon Valley. They have five grown children split between previous marriages.
At least twice a year Cynthia and Rex and sometimes some of the kids take trips to Los Angeles, usually after Cynthia lands tickets to TV shows.
Cynthia, along with Rex or her children, has been in the audience for "Dancing With The Stars," "American Idol," "So You Think You Can Dance," as well as "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
"I enjoy going," Rex Bordwell said. "I'm not as nutso about it as she is, but I always enjoy going down there. I like the environment. It's exciting and a change of pace."
In 2011, they took a tour of the Kodak Theatre, now the Dolby Theatre, and Cynthia learned there was a drawing each September for free seats in the bleachers at the Oscar show. She applied online at www.oscars.org that year but didn't win. In 2012, she put her and Rex's names in again, and Rex won.
They underwent a background check for security reasons and once they passed they were given the OK to attend.
They don't have favorites yet to win any awards and are mainly looking forward to seeing the stars up close.
"I'm hoping to see Robert Downey Jr., Ben Affleck, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, ..." Cynthia said. "I'm looking forward to seeing her and maybe her husband James Brolin."
"I'd like to see what Tom Cruise and Danny DeVito look like in real life, and Jessica Chastain from "Zero Dark Thirty," Rex said.
Of all the movies up for Academy Awards, they've only seen "Zero Dark Thirty." Cynthia said their mission is to see as many of the movies nominated as they can before they head to Hollywood.
The couple did have somewhat of a scheduling conflict before deciding to go to the show. Cynthia's son and daughter-in-law have a baby due on the weekend of the Oscars -- but the celeb show won out.
"We thought there'll always be another baby, but we'll never go to another Academy Awards," Rex said.
Contact Jason Sweeney at 925-847-2123. Follow him at Twitter.com/Jason_Sweeney.