For the first time since March 2002, the Academy Awards will not be held at the Kodak Theatre. The actual venue isn’t changing, only the name.
Eastman Kodak, which paid $75 million for the naming rights to the theatre filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in January and asked for their $3.5 million a year contract to be canceled, removing their name from the venue.
CIM Group who owns the building is requesting the venue simply be called the ‘Hollywood & Highland Center’ during this year’s Academy Awards telecast on Sunday.
The fate of the venue for hosting the Academy Awards is unknown, since there have been rumors of the ceremony moving out of Hollywood to another venue, such as the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Downtown L.A., which is host to other award ceremonies throughout the year. And in December, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced they are not renewing their agreement to hold the show at the venue.
The Hollywood & Highland Center was built specifically to be the home of the Oscars, with its large seating capacity and has one of the largest stages in the country.
If you’ve ever been to the venue and walked up the majestic stairwell leading to the theatre, you’ve most likely seen the columns which display the names of the Academy Award winners for Best Picture beginning in 1927, with plenty of empty spaces for upcoming winners.
The Academy Awards has been held at numerous venues throughout Los Angeles over the years:
- Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
- Ambassador Hotel / Millennium Biltmore Hotel
- Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
- Shrine Auditorium
- Pantages Theatre
- NBC International Theatre
- NBC Century Theatre
- Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
- Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
So only time will tell if a new venue will be added to list, along with a new corporate sponsor name for the now named Hollywood & Highland Center.
If the Academy Awards do more to another venue in Los Angeles, where do you think it should be? And who do you think should buy the naming rights to the Hollywood & Highland Center?