The Academy Awards have a new home at the same Hollywood address: The Dolby Theatre.
At the same time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and CIM Group, the real estate company that owns the Hollywood and Highland property, announced that the Oscars have signed a 20-year deal to stay put.
“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 Tom Sherak, Academy President. “We are pleased to have a new agreement with CIM that will continue our longstanding partnership.”
Under the new contract with the Academy, the Dolby Theatre will host the Academy Awards through 2033.
"The Dolby Theatre is an iconic Hollywood landmark and it will be a world-class showcase for Dolby innovation," Ramzi Haidamus, EVP for Sales & Marketing at Dolby, told reporters on Tuesday. "It's a bold step for the company. It's about much more than putting our name on a building.
"For many years to come, the Dolby Theatre will give us an incredible platform to reach a a consumer audience across the globe," he added.
Haidamus said the deal was contingent on the awards remaining at the theater and that if they should move, Dolby has an opt-out.
The Dolby Theatre, formerly known as the Kodak Theatre, features 3,400 seats on four levels and 20 opera boxes. It is one of the largest stages in the United States with state-of-the-art infrastructure designed for a variety of programming including live broadcast.
The venue was built specifically for the Oscars, which was first held in the building in 2002. It is located less than a block from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, where the first Academy Awards took place in 1929.
Dolby Laboratories also announced that the company will enhance the sound system of the theater at Hollywood & Highland Center, owned by CIM Group, to create a world-class showcase for Dolby’s current and future technologies.
It introduced its new Atmos sound technology to movie exhibitors in Las Vegas last week. It will also upgrade the theater so that it can play 3D video.
“Dolby is a brand recognized around the world for creating the best, most life-like entertainment sound experiences in any environment,” said Kevin Yeaman, president and chief executive of Dolby Laboratories. “This partnership with CIM allows the Dolby Theatre to be not only the world-stage for the Academy Awards, but for Dolby innovations for decades to come.”
In December, the Academy exercised an escape clause in its existing 20-year contract. The clause allowed AMPAS to move elsewhere after the 2013 show, or to renegotiate the contract with CIM. At the time, Sherak told TheWrap that his preference would be to stay in Hollywood.
Other reports said that the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles had made an offer for the Oscars, but Sherak said the Academy was not negotiating with anyone except CIM.