The man behind the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1927 was Louis B. Mayer, chief of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studios. The organization’s goals were defined as developing a way to honor outstanding achievements in the film industry to encourage even greater efforts and achievements in the industry’s future.
The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, have been presented by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1929 to recognize excellence and achievement within the motion picture industry, making it the oldest awards ceremony in the history of all media. These awards formed the paradigm on which the Grammys, Emmys, and Tonys are based (the equivalents of the music, television, and theater industries, respectively).
How did the Academy Awards start?
On May 16, 1929, the Academy Awards ceremony honoring 15 statuette winners (announced three months before the event) took place in the Blossom Room of the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood, California, at a private banquet for approximately 260 attendants. Director William C. DeMille hosted the event and actor and president of the Academy Douglas Fairbanks, who handed out all the awards himself that evening. Emil Jannings received the first Academy Award for Best Actor for his roles in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh. Best Picture that year was Wings, the only silent film to ever win the Best Picture award in Academy Awards history. The inaugural Academy Awards ceremony cost five dollars to attend, and an after-party took place at the Mayfair Hotel.
From 1930 to 1943, the awards ceremony took place at the Ambassador Hotel in Hollywood or the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. But by 1944, the increased number of guests made the usual banquet halls impractical, with theaters appearing to be more suitable venues from that year on. For example, the 1944-1946 ceremony took place at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, and then from 1947-1948 at the Shrine Auditorium. The following year, they took place at the Academy Award Theater in Hollywood; then, they took place at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood for the next ten years. From 1953-1957, Academy Award ceremonies were held simultaneously on the East and West Coasts, one in Hollywood and one in New York. Beginning with the Academy Awards of 1958, a single West Coast awards ceremony has been held each year, taking place at the RKO Pantages Theater that year and the next. For the 1960 event, the ceremony moved to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. In 1969, the ceremony moved to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Music Center. Since 2002, the awards ceremony has been broadcast from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.
Who was the first person to ever receive an Oscar?
At the last Academy Awards ceremony in 2010, 1,825 awards were won, with 2,789 Oscar statuettes distributed since the very first in 1929. Since the early days of the awards, they have become highly anticipated events among film industry professionals and movie buffs. The most-watched award shows in the entertainment industry, the Academy Awards ceremony broadcasts have received 195 Emmy nominations and won 47 times. Several corporate and crystal awards are available online for businesses or organizations inspired by the Oscar tradition of honoring excellence.