By Aaron Blevins, 2/23/2012
Judge Rules Naming Rights can be Terminated
Suffice it to say, this year’s Academy Awards could be the last at the Kodak Theatre.
No, the Oscars hasn’t announced that it is will be moving out of Hollywood; U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper has allowed Eastman Kodak Co. to terminate its sponsorship of the theatre, effective immediately.
“It’s served a good purpose, but times change and our financial situation changed,” Kodak spokesman Christopher Veronda said.
The move came less than two weeks before the 84th Academy Awards, which will be held on Sunday. It also follows reports that Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences officials may be brainstorming a potential move to the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The Academy, however, has denied such reports, saying venue negotiations for the Oscars beyond 2013 have not begun.
A spokesperson for CIM Group, which acquired the Hollywood and Highland Retail and Entertainment Center for $201 million in 2004, declined to comment.
Eastman Kodak reportedly signed a 20-year, $74-million deal in 2000 for naming rights to the theatre. Veronda said the company does not own the naming rights to any other entertainment venue.
In preparation for the Oscars, the city of Los Angeles has finalized its list of street closures and restricted parking areas. According to a statement, many agencies, including the city’s Department of Transportation and police and fire departments, were consulted in the planning process.
Hollywood Boulevard, between Highland Avenue and Orange Drive, closed on Feb. 19 and will remain so through Tuesday. At 4 a.m. on Sunday, Hollywood Boulevard will close between La Brea Avenue and Cahuenga Boulevard, and Highland Avenue will close between Franklin Avenue and Sunset Boulevard.
Additional streets will close beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday to assist with the circulation of event arrivals. The southbound Highland Avenue off-ramp from the Hollywood (101) Freeway will be closed on Sunday as well.
Transportation employees will be strictly enforcing the restricted no-parking policy for the show.
For locations, visit www.oscars.org/closures. Vehicles parked in no-parking areas will be towed to Hollywood Tow, 1015 N. Mansfield Ave.