Since 2001, the Academy Awards ceremony has had a permanent home in The Kodak Theatre, but there’s long been a chance that was going to change, because reports were going around that the Academy wasn’t going to automatically renew their lease with the theater come 2013, and were looking to take the Oscars elsewhere. Early reports had the Nokia Theatre being a likely choice for a replacement, as they offered more room to maneuver, more modern facilities, and a competitive price on the lease.
Today all of that talk was put to rest, however, as it was announced that the Academy Awards would be remaining in its current home, but would soon be doing some slight redecorating. Dolby Laboratories Inc. announced via press release that the Academy has signed a new 20 year lease to keep the Oscars at the Kodak Theatre, which will now be going by the name The Dolby Theatre. You see, that’s why Dolby Laboratories is doing the announcing and not Kodak or CIM, the group who actually own the building; going forward, they’re going to be using the Awards to get their technology some big-time publicity.
In addition to getting a new sign with a new name on it, the newly christened Dolby Theatre is also said to be receiving some tech upgrades courtesy of its new namesake. Dolby Laboratories President Kevin Yeaman said of the new deal, “Dolby is a brand recognized around the world for creating the best, most life-like entertainment sound experiences in any environment. This partnership with CIM allows the Dolby Theatre to be not only the world-stage for the Academy Awards, but for Dolby innovations for decades to come.”
The first improvement Yeaman and his people are going to do to the theatre is going to be an installation of the new Dolby Atmos sound system that was recently introduced to the world, and which is poised to take theatre surround sound to new, immersive levels beyond anything we’ve heard before. That’s got to be good news for people who like Billy Crystal’s singing voice. Get a ticket to the event next year and it’s going to seem like he’s singing quirky tunes about the year’s Oscar bait right in your face.