Thus, an attempt was made to remake Tinsel Town. By the time I left, it was well underway. I return many times a year and have seen the progress, especially with the Hollywood and Highland complex, which includes the Kodak Theatre, built specifically for the Oscars. Now, after 10 years of hosting the show, talks are under way for a possible move. That move would be to the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles, a place I have been to as well.
As for the Oscars moving there, I would not like it. I, however, would get used to it as time goes on. But, first, the size bothers me. It's way too big and can hold too many people, especially for what I call the best award show, yet somewhat intimate. Sure, about 3,500 industry folk are in the seats when Oscars call and more backstage with us media folk, etc., but that is a good size.
The Nokia would hold roughly 7,100 for this event. No way. Take a look at shows that are housed there and you may get a feeling of this. The People's Choice Awards Wednesday were there, as was the memorial for Michael Jackson. It was also home to the American Music Awards and The Emmys. The Nokia's neighbor, The Staples Center, where the Lakers play, would be even worse. This huge warehouse is home to The Grammys and so much is going on, I do not know where to look. It may just be the Grammy production team, but I doubt it. They look at all the space and feel the need to fill it up with too many screens and even more bells and whistles. It's enough to give you a headache within minutes, without any beverages. As the Oscars near, this news that leaked cannot be settling well for those involved, but it is now out there.
The trade publications went wild with speculation and reasons. I concur with many. One such problem, they note, is the acoustics and huge staircase running up to the theater, plus the fact that it is right in the middle of a shopping complex. And it is right where people shop. But, come Oscar Week, those places are slowly shut down as it gets closer to show time Sunday. The street undergoes a face lift for the Red Carpet and other events. It is completely shut down by late Saturday and Sunday. I talk to many merchants when that happens and they do lose business.
Truth be told, they get a different kind of business when we, the media, take over, and it's not tourism friendly. The Hollywood Reporter got in touch with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. "Obviously, we'd be very disappointed. The Kodak Theatre was designed for the academy but more than that, historically the academy is tied to Hollywood with the first Academy Awards held in Hollywood," Leron Gubler, the president/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce said. And then came this quote which I forget about. "This, on top of the academy's decision to move their museum out of Hollywood an onto Wilshire Boulevard would send a very negative message to the community." I would like to add that there is also indications that the iconic hand and footprints of many of the older stars may be moved from Grauman's Chinese Theater, which is located right next to the Kodak, and a huge tourist attraction. From there many head down the boulevard and walk over the stars on the Walk of Fame. Across the street from the Kodak is where Jimmy Kimmel tapes his show and on the same side of the street, but only one block away, is the home of the first Oscars, the Roosevelt Hotel. The myths and legends of that place alone is one reason why I stay there and did so last year. During Oscar Week, this place is packed 24 hours a day and seem as if no one sleeps. Again, this year's show is the 10th year for a building that was built for the Academy Awards.
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