Monday, February 29, 2016

The First Academy Awards

Douglas Fairbanks presents Janet Gaynor with
the Best Actress Award at the 1st  Oscar Ceremony 
Last night the 88th Academy Awards Show was televised live! The stars, the crowds, the clothes, the jewels! Nowadays the Oscars are quite the spectacle, but how did it all begin? Here's a little information from Wikipedia:

In 1927, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was established by Louis B. Mayer, originator of Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation, which then would be joined into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Mayer's purpose in creating the award was to unite the five branches of the film industry, including actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. Mayer commented on the creation of the awards "I found that the best way to handle [filmmakers] was to hang medals all over them ... If I got them cups and awards they'd kill them to produce what I wanted. That's why the Academy Award was created". Mayer asked Cedric Gibbonsart director of MGM, to design an Academy Award trophy. Nominees were notified through a telegram in February 1928. In August 1928, Mayer contacted the Academy Central Board of Judges to decide winners. However, according to the American director King Vidor, the voting for the Academy Award for Best Picture was in the hands of the AMPAS founders Douglas FairbanksSid Grauman, Mayer, Mary Pickford and Joseph Schenck.

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 1927 and 1928 and took place on May 16, 1929, at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los AngelesCalifornia. AMPAS president Douglas Fairbanks hosted the show. Tickets cost $5 (which would be $69 in 2016 considering inflation), 270 people attended the event and the presentation ceremony lasted fifteen minutes. Awards were created by Louis B. Mayer, founder of Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation (at present merged into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). It is the only Academy Awards ceremony not to be broadcast either on radio or television.

How times have changed! I used to watch the Oscars every year, at least until 11:00, however, I haven't watched in years. But how about you? Did you watch the awards ceremony last night? And if so, did you stay up for whole thing?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

5 comments:

William Kendall said...

Imagine an Oscars lasting fifteen minutes. Haven't watch the Oscars in many years, and I don't wish to ever again!

Donna Figueroa said...

The Orange Room @ The Roosevelt Hotel is more famous for being haunted than the original site of the Academy Awards!

I some of the broadcast and enjoyed Chris Rock's monologue. As a resident of Hollywood, I'm looking forward to my neighborhood returning to normal.

Maria McKenzie said...

@William: 15 minutes, amazing, right? Now that's how long some speeches last!

@Donna: I'll have to learn about The Orange Room;). Is your neighborhood back to normal yet?

Norma Beishir said...

I watched this year's show...but I just wanted to see how Chris Rock would respond to the controversy. Personally, I thought he nailed it!

Maria McKenzie said...

@Norma: I was curious about that, too. Now I'm sorry I missed it!