Dolby Theater: What is the capacity, seating chart and what is the main event room like?
Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater, or the Kodak Theater as it was previously known, has hosted the Academy Awards since 2002. We take a look at its layout.
Numerous venues have hosted the annual Academy Awards since the first ceremony was held in Hollywood in May 1929. For the past 20 years, the event has been held at the Dolby Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles. The theater was purpose-built to stage the Oscars - construction began in 1997 and was completed in 2001, opening its doors for the first time on 9 November 2001. Until 2012, it was known as the Kodak Theater - photographic film company Eastman Kodak held the naming rights to the theater from 2000 but managed to wriggle their way out of the 20-year sponsorship deal after filing for bankruptcy early in 2012.
Dolby Laboratories secured a similar deal to take over from Kodak in May of that year. The theater became known as the Dolby Theater with the audio firm’s brand name set to remain on the theater’s façade until 2033.
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Art Deco, limestone convex exterior
The Dolby Theater is situated on Hollywood Boulevard, in central Hollywood, within the Hollywood & Highland entertainment and shopping complex. Its geometric, limestone façade is 1920s, Art Deco-inspired with a towering, curved portal which leads on to the grand entrance - a, long, elegant hallway which is set back several metres from the sidewalk. This is the main red carpet where nominees and A-listers glide past press photographers and television cameras before making their way up the grand staircase, into the foyer and then into the theater itself.
Inside, the main event room is impressive and boasts one of the largest indoor theatre stages in the United States, measuring 113 ft (34 m) by 60 ft (18 m). The auditorium features the main floor seating area which is divided into three sections of 13 rows (A-N), which seats 1,460. A further two rows form the Parterre to the rear.
Up in the gods
There are three balcony levels - Mezzanines 1, 2 and 3, flanked by nine opera boxes on either side. Seating areas are split into three sections with two aisles. The first balcony, Mezzanine 1 has 638 seats spread out in rows A to Q. The second balcony, Mezzanine 2 has 529 seats (rows A-H) and the third balcony, Mezzanine 3, 773 seats - rows A to M. In total, the Dolby Theater has enough seating to accommodate 3,400 guests.
For most people, the Dolby Theater is associated with the Oscars but it does stage other events all year round, including concerts, Broadway shows, dance, ballet and live television productions. Some of the artists who have graced the stage include Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Alicia Keys, Celine Dion, Prince and Elvis Costello.