Photo by mninha via Flickr Creative Commons
EXT. KODAK THEATRE - DAY
The phrase "live from the Kodak Theatre" is dead. Sunday's Oscars will not go location nameless, however. Instead, the 84th Annual Academy Awards telecast will be announced as "live from the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood, California," per the request of the property's landlord the CIM Group, ABC 7 reports.
The forthcoming vague voiceover follows a court approval earlier this month to end Kodak's sponsorship of the 3,300-seat theater. The iconic company signed a naming rights deal for $74 million in 2000, but asked to cut short its contract after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
As for finding a new identity for the glamorous venue, "CIM has engaged Premier Partnerships to search for a new naming rights sponsor. However the process is complicated since a major brand would not want to pay $50 million or more for their name to be on the venue unless they are assured the Academy will keep the Oscars there for the term of the deal. That is yet to be seen," explains the Hollywood Reporter.
Troy David Johnston/flickr
The Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland complex.
Recently, Eastman Kodak announced it was trying to get out of its naming rights contract with Hollywood's Kodak Theatre, and L.A. Councilman Eric Garcetti was seemingly preparing for a future with no theater named Kodak. But now CIM Group, which owns the theater, is saying not so fast.
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports the owners are challenging the effort to end the sponsorship deal.
The agreement signed in 2000 was for 20 years at a cost of $72 million, with $3.6 million due this year.
Rochester-based Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection Jan. 19 after years of turnaround efforts.
CIM claims Kodak already has reaped publicity from this year's Oscars on Feb. 26. They argue the sponsorship should remain in place at least until the end of 2012 to give them time to find a new sponsor.