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Inside Oscars’ COVID-Safe Show: An Open-Air Ceremony With Half the Presenters (EXCLUSIVE)

Oscars Oscar Academy Awards Placeholder
Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has begun inviting talent to present at the upcoming 93rd Oscars.

With those invitations, more details have emerged about how producers intend to keep the ceremony COVID-safe. The ceremony will likely be an open-air production at Los Angeles’ historic Union Station. The Academy had previously announced that the station would be used in some way in addition to the Dolby Theatre.

A normal year can feature up to 50 non-nominee presenters, but that number is probably being cut by more than half. The show typically would include one or multiple people presenting an award as well as musical performances, best picture clip packages and more. Presenters will likely only be allowed one guest as is the case with nominees. Perhaps, one source speculated, nominees will also be asked to present this year.

A reduced red carpet will also take place in an open-air location.

However, nothing is set in stone as plans can change depending on various factors, including health restrictions and how many people decide to attend the ceremony, as well as weather conditions.

Traditional presenters — winners from the previous year presenting their category but for the opposite gender — were invited to present months ago, as is always the case for Oscar planning. It’s not clear if current plans have been explained to them yet.

The Academy declined to comment for this story.

The latest details come just a couple of days after Variety was the first to report that Academy president David Rubin sent a letter to all Academy members outlining this year’s celebration.

The Academy will not hold any in-person events, including nominations screenings, the annual nominees’ luncheon or other programming. In addition, the only people who will be allowed to attend the Oscars will be the nominees themselves, their guests and the ceremony’s presenters.

Utilizing Union Station was announced when the nominations were revealed on Monday morning by Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas.

While the Golden Globes included nominees Zooming into the show, presenters appeared in person at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles or the Rainbow Room in New York City. The audience was limited to a small group of frontline workers at either venue.

The highly praised Grammys ceremony included nominees seated at socially distanced tables outside at the Los Angeles Convention Center.