As the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to go through growing pains, one question is still wide open. When AMPAS president Tom Sherak ends his term, will the new president be Howard Koch, Jr. or Phil Robinson? Another question has been answered: the 85th Academy Awards will take place at the same Hollywood & Highland Theatre as before, only the Kodak will be renamed the Dolby Theatre. Good solution.
Under the new contract with the Academy, the Dolby Theatre will host the Academy Awards through 2033. There had been some discussion of moving the Oscar show downtown, as new CEO Dawn Hudson had moved the Los Angeles Film Festival. That, clearly, has been skuttled.
In another change, it’s quite unusual for an Oscar press release to go out that isn’t originated by the Academy, which does not usually share “branding” with anyone. But today’s major Oscar announcement cited the CIM Group “closing two major transactions” –this is how the august Academy breaks news?
“The Academy Awards To Remain in Hollywood,” touts the release, and “The Dolby Theatre to Debut at Hollywood & Highland Center.”
Why did the Academy cede ground to the CIM Group? The owners of Hollywood & Highland signed a 20-year deal with the announcement to host the awards through 2033 slanted to give the Cim Group some much-needed branding.
In a separate agreement, Dolby Laboratories, Inc. and CIM announced a 20-year agreement starting this summer to rename and upgrade the 3400-seat Kodak Theatre–which has been the site of the Academy Awards since 2002–the Dolby Theatre. Naturally the newly-touted Dolby Atmos, complete with overhead speakers, will be installed.
“The Academy’s Board of Governors believes that the home for our awards is in Hollywood. It is where the Academy and the motion picture industry are rooted,” said Sherak. “We are pleased to have a new agreement with CIM that will continue our longstanding partnership.”