Oscars Screenings Move Online and Earn the Academy $1 Million Plus (So Far)


With physical screenings impossible, more than 80 movies have already paid $12,500 for spots in the Academy Screening Room

This time of year, the giant Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Beverly Hills headquarters usually attracts hundreds of Oscar voters and their guests every weekend for free members’ screenings of movies that will be competing for the top awards.

In 2020, though, it’s not an option to invite people to movie screenings in Los Angeles (or in New York, where they Academy also held screenings). But while the pandemic has killed those popular events, which were often followed by Q&As by filmmakers and actors, the Academy is still showing contending movies to its members as the Oscar race approaches.

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Steve Pond

Steve Pond has been writing about film, music, pop culture and the entertainment industry for more than 40 years. He has served as TheWrap’s awards editor and executive editor, awards since joining the company in 2009. Steve began his career writing about music for the Los Angeles Times, where he remained a contributor for more than 15 years, and Rolling Stone, where he was West Coast Music Editor and wrote 16 cover stories. He moved into film coverage with a weekly column in the Washington Post and became a contributing writer at Premiere magazine, where he became the first journalist to have all access to the Academy Awards show and rehearsals. He has also written for the New York Times, Movieline, the DGA Quarterly, GQ, Playboy, the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, New York, the Christian Science Monitor, Live! magazine and many others. He is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller “The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards” (Faber and Faber, 2005). He has also written “Elvis in Hollywood” (New American Library, 1990) and contributed to books that include “Cash,” “The Rolling Stone Reader,” U2: The Rolling Stone Files,” “Bruce Springsteen: The Rolling Stone Files” and “The Rolling Stone Interviews: The 1980s.” He was the co-managing editor of the syndicated TV news program “The Industry News” and the creative consultant for the A&E series “The Inside Track With Graham Nash.” He has won L.A. Press Club awards for stories in TheWrap, the Los Angeles Times and Playboy, and was nominated for a National Magazine Award for a story in Premiere.