Bankrupt Oscars venue gets new name

2012-06-12 13:56

Los Angeles - The venue for the Oscars has a new name - and sound.

The posh 3 400-seat theatre formerly known as the Kodak Theatre re-opened on Monday with a new audio-visual system and new signage as the Dolby Theatre. Dolby Laboratories announced a 20-year deal with Hollywood & Highland Center owner CIM Group last month to rename the theatre, which has hosted the Academy Awards since 2002.

The audio-visual technology company outfitted the four-level venue with its Dolby 3D and Dolby Atmos projection and audio systems. Besides the Oscars, the Hollywood theatre is home to the Cirque du Soleil production Iris and will host the world premiere next Monday of the Disney-Pixar film Brave, which will be the first feature film released utilizing the Dolby Atmos technology.

Dolby Atmos

"It's an incredible day for us," said Dolby President Kevin Yeaman after a demonstration on Monday of the theatre's new audio-visual systems.

"We've been hard at work coming up with Dolby Atmos and Dolby 3D and looking for a way to tell that story and connect with audiences around the world. When this opportunity came up, we couldn't pass it up."

Unlike Dolby Surround 7.1, which uses different audio channels, Dolby Atmos can render sounds in space by harnessing individual speakers instead of entire speaker arrays. Dolby Atmos also adds overhead speakers, which were installed in the Dolby Theatre on two 15m-long trusses that must be removed for the acrobatic acts in Iris.

CIM Group dropped the Kodak name from the theatre ahead of the Oscars earlier this year after a bankruptcy court judge approved the early exit of 131-year-old Eastman Kodak Co from a 20-year naming rights deal it signed with them in 1999.

The 85th annual Academy Awards are scheduled to be held at the Dolby Theatre on 24 February 2013.