Oscars venue renamed the Dolby Theatre in new deal

The famous Hollywood theatre that hosts the prestigious Oscar awards ceremony has been renamed the Dolby Theatre in a new sponsorship deal.

American audio company, Dolby, are now sponsoring the venue which Kodak were rumoured to have been paying $3.6m annually for naming rights.

Formally known as the Kodak Theatre, the huge 3,400-seater building has hosted the Oscars for the past 10 years and cost a hefty $94m to build back in 2001.

When the Eastman Kodak company went bust earlier this year, the first thing they did was stop selling their digital cameras, so it was only a matter of time before a judge allowed Kodak to end its $74 million contract.

The new 20-year contract Dolby have signed with theatre owners, the CIM Group, means that the Oscars will continue to be hosted in Hollywood, despite the Academy having thoughts about moving to the bigger Nokia stadium.

The 7,100-seat arena Nokia Theater, where the Emmys and the American Music awards are currently hosted, is in a less congested part of LA, but is also much less central,  which is why the Academy opted to stay put.

According to Tom Sherak – the president of the Academy of motion Picture Arts and Sciences – “The Academy’s Board of Governors believes that the home for our awards is in Hollywood. It is where the Academy and the motion picture industry are rooted. We are pleased to have a new agreement with CIM that will continue our long-standing partnership.”

Dolby hope to give its audience a more “immersive” experience by kitting out the theatre with the latest Dolby audio technology, as well as the revolutionary new Atmos 3D sound system which was released just last week.

Director of the upcoming Hobbit film, Peter Jackson, said he was considering using the new Atmos technology in his much anticipated movie. The New Zeeland filmmaker told the Hollywood Reporter that ‘three dimensional sound would be fantastic and if I can do it I would be pretty keen’. The Hobbit,which is the prequel to fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings, débuts in December.

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