Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the brainchild of Louis B. Mayer, the head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). In the early days of 1927, Louis B. Mayer and three of his guests - actor Conrad Nagel, director Fred Niblo and producer Fred Beetson started talking about the need of an organization, which will work for the promotion and benefit of the entire film industry, at a dinner meeting. To materialize their plan, all the four of them planned another dinner, the following week, for which they invited guests from all the creative branches of the film industry.
On 11 January 1927, a group of 36 people met for dinner at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. They were there to hear about the proposal to found the International Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (soon after “International” was dropped from the name). Many prominent personalities of the industry were present at the meeting, including Louis B. Mayer, Mary Pickford, Sid Grauman, Jesse Lasky, George Cohen, Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, Cedric Gibbons and Irving Thalberg. Everyone in the group approved the proposal. By mid-March 1927, articles of incorporation were presented and Academy members selected, with Douglas Fairbanks Sr. as president.
In early May 1927, the state approved the establishment of the Academy as a non-profit organization. A week after that, on May 11, 1927, an official organizational banquet was held at the Biltmore Hotel. It was attended by 300 guests, out of which 230 joined the Academy, paying an amount of $100 each. That night itself, the Academy also awarded its first honorary membership, to Thomas Edison. At first, only five branches of awards were established - producers, actors, directors, writers and technicians. With this, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) came into being. The first Academy Awards were officially presented at a black-tie dinner on May 16, 1929.