Kodak name to disappear from Academy Awards theater
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Allan Gropper rejected the effort by landlord CIM/H&H Media to compel Kodak to continue with a 20-year sponsorship offer signed in 2000, worth an estimated $72 million, representatives for the two companies confirmed.
The Kodak Theatre opened at the Hollywood & Highland shopping complex in November 2001 and has since housed 10 Oscar ceremonies, as well as other events including the ESPY Awards and the resident Cirque du Soleil show "Iris."
Kodak sought to cancel the agreement, under which it paid approximately $3.6 million a year, to save money following its January filing for Chapter 11 reorganization.
Left undetermined by Gropper is how quickly the Kodak name and signage will be removed from the theater. The camera company had sought to do so immediately, but CIM claimed in an earlier court filing that doing so before the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 26 is "not practically feasible."
Meanwhile, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has considered moving the Oscars ceremony to the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles beginning in 2014. An academy spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.
— Ben Fritz
Photo: Preparations for the 2006 Oscars outside the Kodak Theatre. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times.