The Oscars have already passed, but we missed this Oscar episode of Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, which featured Don Cheadle as a guest, in which they talked about the Oscars.
I especially wasn’t aware of what the procedure was in purchasing tickets to attend the Oscars (which Cheadle talks about in the video below), and figured that some of you weren’t either. So I’m just sharing the info.
But in the below clip, Cheadle recalls a past Oscars (not the year he was nominated), which he didn’t really want to attend, but his wife wanted to and convinced him to go. He says that he agreed to go and paid the $500 per ticket price.
That’s where I had to stop and do research because I wasn’t aware that celebrities had to buy tickets to attend the event. I figured if you were already a member of the Academy (every year, a new group of artists are invited to join; last year, there were 176 new members), you were automatically free to attend the Oscars. Then again, the Dolby Theatre (previously known as the Kodak Theatre) only holds about 3400 total seats, so not all the 6,000 or so members of the Academy can fit in it. But that’s something I only just thought about.
So, apparently, if you’re an Academy member, but you’re not one of the nominees, nor presenters in any given year (or you’re not special enough – like, I learned that there are certain legends of the screen who are given tickets to the event every year for free), you have to buy a ticket if you want to attend the event. And the cost of the ticket is $500.
It’s probably not a lot of money for many members of the Academy, so they pay the price and move on. But Cheadle didn’t seem too keen on paying that cost, especially to attend an event that he didn’t really want to attend that year. I suppose I can understand that.
But ticket sales alone, assuming a full house at the theater every year, and excluding nominees and presenters, whom I believe are given tickets for free, since they kind of have to be there, generate about $1.5 million a year to the Academy.
For the average person, who’s not a member of the Academy, you’re not eligible to buy tickets. So if you see anyone scalping tickets online for the Oscars, they are likely not valid. And the Academy frowns on anyone buying and selling their tickets to others, at a premium.
The best way for the average person to attend is by either applying to be a seat-filler, or register for one of 600 bleacher seats. Or you join the Academy, which is virtually impossible for the average person who’s not in the business.
Here’s the video with Don Cheadle, which is actually pretty funny: