Earlier this year we reported on the Eastman Kodak company”s plans to have its name removed from the theater at the Hollywood & Highland complex where the Academy Awards have been held since 2002 as a part of their filing for federal bankruptcy.
CIM group (the company that owns the Hollywood & Highland mall where the theater is located) has been seeking a new sponsor for the theater while simultaneously renegotiating their deal with the AMPAS. The Academy, meanwhile, has indicated that it may move the Oscarcast to another location once its lease is up in 2013. The Nokia Theater LA LIVE in downtown Los Angeles (a venue which would provide double the capacity of the current theater) had indicated plans to bid for the show, but most have assumed the Academy wasn’t likely to pick up stakes.
Meanwhile, the LA Times reports that Dolby Laboratories has entered into talks with CIM for the naming rights to the venue. The Academy, if it chooses to remain in the Hollywood & Highland location, has the right to reject a sponsor (though we don”t image that they would take issue with the audio/visual pioneers at Dolby).
The deal between Dolby and CIM is likely contingent on the landlord renewing its contract to host the Academy Awards. If both deals are carried through it will be somehow both poetic and sad to see one of the last bastions and earliest creators of celluloid be replaced with the company that created a digital 3D projection system. It is both indicative of the times we are in and somehow perfectly bittersweet.
In the past the Oscars have been held at the Hollywood Roosevelt, Ambassador and Biltmore Hotels, the Grauman’s Chinese and Pantages Theatres in Hollywood, the Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion downtown, the Shrine Auditorium on the USC campuse and, of course, the Kodak.
For year-round entertainment news and commentary follow @JRothC on Twitter.
Sign up for Instant Alerts from In Contention!