EXCLUSIVE: Just as Deadline predicted, the Academy Awards are staying put at Hollywood & Highland for the next 20 years in the former Kodak Theatre now named the Dolby Theatre, sources tell me. Kodak filed for bankruptcy in January and was only halfway through a 20-year rights deal when it pulled out just before this year’s Academy Awards. (Media outlets were asked to refer to the venue as Hollywood & Highland Center during the Oscarcast). The Oscars are the theatre’s marquee tenant, and the Academy’s lease with CIM was going to be up ahead of the 2014 Academy Awards.
Details are now here:
HOLLYWOOD (May 1, 2012) — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and CIM Group announced today that the Academy Awards® will remain in Hollywood under a new 20-year deal. Concurrently, in a separate agreement, Dolby Laboratories, Inc and CIM announced a 20-year agreement to name the Dolby Theatre™ — the iconic theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center® and home of the Academy Awards since 2002– a showcase of technology innovation.
“Our ability to swiftly conclude two significant contracts with global entertainment leaders affirms Hollywood as a thriving district, the Dolby Theatre as the ultimate entertainment showcase and Hollywood & Highland Center as a cornerstone for both the local and entertainment communities,” said Shaul Kuba, Co-Founder of CIM Group, owners of the Hollywood & Highland Center. CIM is an investor in communities throughout North America and the largest commercial real estate owner in Hollywood. In 1998, CIM Group identified Hollywood as an emerging urban district that meets the firm’s strategic investment guidelines and is headquartered there. Since then, it has acquired and developed a portfolio of properties that include office, retail, hotel and multifamily residential properties.
Under the new contract with the Academy, the Dolby Theatre will host the Academy Awards through 2033. The Dolby Theatre features 3,400 seats on four levels and 20 opera boxes, 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 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.”
Dolby is a global brand and industry leader in creating the best entertainment experiences. During the term of the Dolby Theatre agreement, which will commence this summer, Dolby will continue to update the theatre with innovative, world-class technologies to ensure that the theatre remains state-of-the-art, beginning with the immediate installation of its recently released Dolby® Atmos™ sound technology. Financial terms were not disclosed. The Dolby Theatre amplifies Dolby’s commitment to innovation as a leader and creator of the most realistic and immersive entertainment experiences.
“Our partnership with CIM allows the Dolby Theatre to be the world-stage for the Academy Awards, and for Dolby innovation for decades to come. Dolby has long been an integral part of Hollywood and the entertainment industry,” said Kevin Yeaman, President and CEO of Dolby Laboratories. “Dolby is a brand recognized around the world for creating the best, most life-like entertainment sound experiences in any environment.”
For 34 consecutive years, films released with Dolby audio technologies have earned Academy Award nominations for outstanding sound quality.