The Kodak Theatre is a live theatre in the Hollywood
and Highland shopping mall and entertainment complex on Hollywood
Boulevard and North Highland Avenue in the Hollywood district of Los
Angeles. Since its opening on November 9, 2001, the theatre has been the
home of the annual Academy Awards Ceremonies (The Oscars), which were
first held there in March 2002, and is the first permanent home for the
awards. Since 2002, the theater was also the home for American Idol.
The theatre was designed by David Rockwell of the
Rockwell Group, and Theatre Projects Consultants specifically with the
Oscars in mind. It has a seating capacity for up to 3,401 people. The
stage is one of the largest in the United States, roughly tied with the
Elliott Hall of Music at Purdue University, measuring 113 feet (34 m)
wide by 60 feet (18 m) deep. The theatre was sponsored by the Eastman
Kodak company, which paid $75 million to have its name associated with
the building. It is owned by CIM Group.
The theatre is particularly successful as a venue for
a televised theatre performance (improving production values and
economies in American Idol and the Academy Awards) through the planning
and technical design. The architect and advisers undertook extensive
consultation with many of the leading production personnel in Hollywood
which led to highly functional production cable infrastructure systems
including an underground cable bunker which passes below the theatre to
truck locations in adjacent streets, accessible and substantial power,
and a unique camera, sound and stage management cockpit designed by
Rockwell and Theatre Projects in the orchestra seating area.
The Grand Staircase entrance columns hall to the Kodak
Theatre is flanked by columns displaying the names of winners of the
Academy Awards for Best Picture since 1927-1928, with blank spaces left
for future Best Picture winners well into the 21st century. Still, a
visitor during the rest of the year might have a hard time recognizing
the landmark. In a fashion reminiscent of Hollywood's movie-making
process, the building is "dressed" before the ceremony, including a
different sign (though not always), drapery to hide all the storefronts,
and the famous large red carpet.
The theatre is rented to the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences for weeks before the Oscar night. During the rest of
the year, it hosts numerous live concerts, award shows, symphony
performances and others. However, the 7,000 seat Nokia Theatre at L.A.
Live has largely replaced the Kodak Theatre as the premier auditorium in
L.A. since it opened in 2007, and some events formerly held at the Kodak
are now regularly held at the Nokia, including the American Idol finals.
Limo Booking for Oscars