Beyond the prying eyes of fans and the public there is a magical venue created each year in the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara by Julia Fitzroy, Regional PR Marketing Director for Moet Hennessy USA, Dom Perignon, who is ‘hostess with the mostess’ in the Dom Perignon Lounge.
I had the pleasure to meet this dynamic marketing woman several years ago and experience for myself the fantastic and artistic design this lounge takes on during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Moet was the focus then, and the beautiful fabrics, stylized couches and cases containing bottles of bubbly covering the walls turns a drab backstage area into a glimmering celebrity venue.
During the festival engraved bottles of Dom Perignon are presented to the celebrities being honored, and this lounge provides a lush respite prior to going on stage, as well as private place to celebrate following their interviews and award presentations; a glitzy room where sips, congratulations and photo ops happen. Fitzroy told me when I spoke with her in 2015 that Moet is the champagne of success and glamor,” and we all know what Dom Perignon means to champagne afficionados!

SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling & Julia Fitzroy, PR Marketing Moet Hennessy USA 2016

Julia is one of most charming young women I have ever met, and it’s no small wonder she has been the number #1 girl with Moet Hennessy USA and Dom Perignon. Her grace under fire is so admirable, and every person I’ve met who spent time with her in the lounge was also disarmed by her understated elegance, and warm sense of hospitality. Miss Fitzroy has been an award winning horse woman for many years, and has a treasure trove of winning ribbons of her own.
Each evening of the SBIFF festival, inside the exclusive backstage Dom Pérignon Lounge, the honorees are presented with a personalized magnum of Dom Pérignon to toast their outstanding performances and respective tribute awards. Past honorees going home with their own magnum have included Johnny Depp, Michael Keaton, Sylvester Stallone, Rachel McAdams, Brie Larsonand Elizabeth Banks.

Johnny Depp, Modern Master Award Recipient 2016 in the Dom Perignon Lounge

That being said, while you are settled in your seat in the Arlington waiting for a tribute to begin just know that the celebrities who are being introduced by Executive Director Roger Durling are also being pampered by Julia Fitzroy in the ‘Dom Perignon Lounge’ as only a focused professional marketing star like Julia Fitzroy can do so well. Two additional vital compenents to the success of this lounge for many years are Richard Yates and Tina Takaya, co-owners of Opal Restaurant and Lounge, who provide scrumptious appetizers to the visiting celebs and guests waiting for their cue to go on stage.

Dom Perignon Marketing Star Julia Fitzroy with F&B Journalist Bonnie Carroll 2015

Santa Barbara International Film Festival
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. SBIFF offers 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums that transforms beautiful downtown Santa Barbara, CA into a rich destination for film lovers which attracts more than 90,000 attendees. SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community through free programs like its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies, National Film Studies Program, AppleBox Family Films, 3rd Weekend and educational seminars. In recent years SBIFF has expanded its year round presence with regular screenings and Q&As with programs like Cinema Society, The Showcase and its Wave Film Festivals. The dates for the 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival are Feb 1-11. For tributes and all additional event information visit

About Bonnie Carroll

Bonnie Carroll has been a food/travel/lifestyle writer since 1983. She is the founder & publisher of Bonnie Carroll’s Life Bites News (, does travel, entertainment and food reporting on local Radio/TV, and contributes to a variety of national and international travel/lifestyle publications. She is a member of IFWTWA and NATJA. Contact her at