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Lensers check out of hotel

ASC boycotts Century Plaza

The American Society of Cinematographers has joined the parade away from the Century Plaza Hotel and plans to switch its Feb. 20 awards show to another site due to a union boycott of the hotel.

The ASC board is seeking alternate sites for the event and will likely make an announcement after Christmas. A spokeswoman said Wednesday that the event may have to be held on another date.

Move means the show’s attendees won’t have to cross a picket line. Contract talks between the Los Angeles Hotel Employer’s Council — which includes the Century Plaza and eight other luxury hotels — and the Unite Here union collapsed last week, making a protest likely.

The Directors Guild of America announced earlier this week it would move its Jan. 29 show to the Beverly Hilton, a week after the Producers Guild of America moved its Jan. 22 awards show from the Century Plaza to Culver Studios. The Writers Guild of America West has not yet decided whether to switch from the Century Plaza for its Feb. 19 kudos show.

Los Angeles hotel workers repped by Unite Here launched a boycott in mid-November of nine luxury hotels after contract talks failed to progress. Talks resumed last week for the first time in three months but broke off three days later with the union promising to continue the boycott.

The workers, who have been without a contract since July, want better wages plus a deal that would expire in 2006, the same time as contracts with hotels in nine other major cities. The hotels oppose a joint termination date.

The ASC nominations have been a reliable indicator of Academy Awards contenders in the cinematography category, with a match rate of nearly 90%. Five of the past nine ASC winners also took home Oscars, though this year John Schwartzman won the ASC award for “Seabiscuit” and Russell Boyd took the Oscar for “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.”

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