Now Hear This: Oscars Theater Renamed Dolby

Artist rendering of the new Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Ca. ©Dolby Laboratories.

By A Front Row Features Staff Reporter

HOLLYWOOD—The Kodak Theatre, which has been the venue of the Academy Awards for the past decade, now has a new name: the Dolby Theatre.

Dolby Laboratories, Inc. and CIM Tuesday announced a 20-year agreement  to name the Dolby Theatre—the iconic theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center in the heart of Hollywood, Calif., and home of the Academy Awards since 2002—a showcase of technology innovation.Kodak, once the largest film manufacturer, declared bankruptcy earlier this year and pulled its sponsorship of the theater.

In a separate agreement, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and CIM Group announced that the Academy Awards will remain in Hollywood under a new 20-year deal.

“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, in a statement.

CIM is an investor in communities throughout North America and the largest commercial real estate owner in Hollywood.

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. It is in a shopping center complex visiting by hundreds of thousands of tourists annually and located in the heart of Hollywood.

“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.”

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.

“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,” said Kevin Yeaman, President and CEO of Dolby Laboratories. “Dolby has long been an integral part of Hollywood and the entertainment industry.”

For 34 consecutive years, films released with Dolby audio technologies have earned Academy Award nominations for outstanding sound quality.