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OSCARS

For how long was the Oscars celebrated in the Kodak Theatre?

The Academy Awards is the annual celebration of the finest film-making achievements of the past year, but the venue for the iconic event has varied a lot.

Update:
The Academy Awards is the annual celebration of the finest film-making achievements of the past year, but the venue for the iconic event has varied a lot.
ROBYN BECKAFP

On Sunday, 27 March the 94th Academy Awards will be held in Hollywood, Los Angeles, celebrating the finest cinematic achievements of 2021.

The Oscars awards ceremony always brings together the biggest names in show business and will be able to return to a full in-person spectacle this year after the two previous editions were disrupted by the covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre in the Ovation Hollywood entertainment complex. The venue has hosted the Academy Awards since it opened in November 2001, but was previously known as the Kodak Theatre.

The Eastman Kodak Company had paid $75 million for the building’s naming rights but the deal came to an abrupt end in February 2012 when the company was forced to file for bankruptcy. Later that year audio specialists Dolby Laboratories agreed a 20-year naming rights deal, which saw the iconic venue renamed the Dolby Theatre.

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Where else has the Oscars ceremony been held?

For the past two decades the Ovation Hollywood entertainment complex has played host to the Academy Awards, but before settling there the ceremony moved between numerous sites.

On 11 May 1927 the first meeting of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was held at the Biltmore Hotel, bringing together more than 300 industry leaders. Those gathered elected producer Douglas Fairbanks as AMPAS’s first president and the first suggestion of annual awards to reward the industry’s successes was raise.

The first Academy Awards ceremony took place in 1929 in the Roosevelt Hotel in the heart of Hollywood, and which had opened just two years previously. In the subsequent decade the awards evening was sometimes held in the Ambassador Hotel but found a more regular home in the Biltmore Bowl, which boasted the largest hotel ballroom in the world.

During the Second World War the Oscars were held at the less lavish Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. In the post-war years the ceremony took place at the Shrine Auditorium in Downtown Los Angeles, before finding a more permanent home in the Pantages Theatre from 1950 onwards.

The 1953 Academy Awards was the first to be broadcast on television and the change was reflected in new, more decorative arrangements for the ceremony. For much of the 1960s the ceremony moved to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, but in 1969 a newly-built theatre would become the longest-serving venue to date.

The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles was opened in 1964 and would host the Oscars from 1969 to 1988, cementing its reputation as the definitive showbiz venue for a generation.

In 1988 AMPAS made the controversial decision to move back to the vast Shrine Auditorium, which would alternate the honour with the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion right up until 2002. From that point on the Dolby Theatre, formerly known as the Kodak Theatre, has been the home to the Academy Awards.

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