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History of the Academy Awards Ceremony

Locations of the Academy Awards Ceremonies

The first Academy Awards were presented on May 16, 1929 at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Less than 250 persons attended and tickets cost $10. Public interest proved to be so high, however, that, in the following year, the event was broadcast live for one hour on a Los Angeles radio station. The Awards ceremonies were held in the Ambassador and Biltmore hotels until 1942, after which the accompanying banquet was discontinued. The war and increased attendance made banquets impractical.

The first winners were known prior to the Awards banquets. Winners were announced to the press in advance so that the results could be published in the late evening newspapers on the night of the ceremonies. By 1940, however, guests arriving for the Awards were able to read the list of winners in 8:45 p.m. edition of the Los Angeles Times. The sealed-envelope system was adopted in 1941 and continues to be used to date.

The 1943, the Academy Awards were presented at Grauman's Chinese Theater. Network radio covered the event for the first time and broadcast it to American GIs in the war zones. The Shrine Auditorium hosted the Awards ceremony for the first time in 1947.

In 1953, at the RKO Pantages Theater in Hollywood, the Academy Awards ceremony was first broadcast on television by NBC. ABC assumed broadcasting rights to the event when the ceremony moved to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in 1961. Color was introduced in 1966 to further highlight the pomp and glamour of the event. NBC once again took over coverage of the ceremonies in 1971. ABC was once again able to obtain broadcasting rights in 1976. They will continue to broadcast the ceremony through 2008. The event is telecast to more than 100 countries.

In 1969, the Academy Awards ceremony became the first major event staged at the new Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center of Los Angeles County. The ceremonies returned to the Shrine Auditorium in 1988 for the first time in 40 years. In 2002, the ceremony was held for the first time at its new permanent location in Hollywood at the new Kodak Theatre at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

The Academy Awards ceremony was postponed on three occasions. The 1938 ceremonies were postponed for one week due to severe flooding in Los Angeles. The 1968 ceremonies were postponed for two days out of respect for the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King that was to be held on the same day. The 1981 ceremonies were postponed for a day due to the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

After 32 years of alternating its venue between the Shrine Auditorium and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (1969-2001), the Academy Awards found a permanent setting in 2002 at the Hollywood venue originally named Kodak Theatre and now named Dolby Theatre.

Attendance at the Academy Awards ceremonies is by invitation only. Tickets are not sold to the public.

Source: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

 

 

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