The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is expected to announce as early as Thursday its plans for a new permanent site for the Oscar show, according to sources.
Beginning in 2001, the Academy reportedly hopes to hold the Oscarcast at a proposed 3,300-seat theater at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue (Daily Variety, Aug. 28, 1997).
The custom-designed theater is part of developer TrizecHahn Centers’ planned $145 million, 1.2 million-square-foot entertainment and retail complex adjacent to Mann’s Chinese Theater.
Neither the Academy nor a TrizecHahn spokeswoman would comment on the matter.
The site is kitty-corner to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, where the Academy Awards were first held in 1929. For the last three decades, the Oscarcast has alternated between the 3,200-seat Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the 6,300-seat Shrine Auditorium. The 1999 event is scheduled to take place at the Chandler; the 2000 Oscarcast is set for the Shrine.
Academy execs have met extensively with the developer over the last year to discuss the technical and logistical requirements of the Oscarcast as well as to iron out financial issues.
The project cleared a hurdle on March 26 when the MTA approved the developer’s proposal to lease the land above and adjacent to the Hollywood Boulevard Metrorail station.
While the project still has to be approved by the Community Redevelopment Agency and the City Council, it already has the support of Mayor Richard Riordan as well as Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, whose district encompasses Hollywood.