Oscar Award is the most prestigious award ceremony of Hollywood, held on an annual basis. It has assumed the shape of a mega event and everyone associated, directly or indirectly, with Hollywood eagerly waits for the Oscar night. The popularity of Academy Awards has increased with the passing time. Looking back into the history of Oscars, we see that the awards were the brainchild of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), formed in 1927. The formation of the academy was a collaborative effort of 36 most prominent individual of the motion picture industry.
Film actor Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. was chosen as the first president of the Academy. The main purpose behind the establishment of the awards was to honor the talented artists of the Motion Picture Industry. The first Academy Awards ceremony was organized on May 16, 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, away from the public eye. It was a very private affair, with only two hundred seventy people as guests. The awards were given in the banquet, set up at the hotel’s Blossom Room. The tickets for the guest tickets cost $5.
The first Oscar ceremony comprised of 12 categories, apart from two special honors. The awards were meant to honor people responsible for cinematic achievements in 1927 and 1928. There was a very little element of surprise at the first Oscar Awards ceremony, as the names of the winners had been declared three months in advance. The entire affair was an elongated one, filled with speeches. However, Douglas Fairbanks, the Academy President, made the work of handing out the statuettes to the winners pretty quick.
The first Oscar for Best Actor was bagged by German tragedian Emil Jannings (for 'The Last Command' and 'The Way of All Flesh'). The actor had to return to Europe before the ceremony, so he requested the Academy to give him the award early. His request was accepted, making his statuette the very first Academy Award to be ever presented. The award for Best Actress went to Janet Gaynor, for 'Seventh Heaven', 'Street Angel' and 'Sunrise'. There were two awards in Direction, for Dramatic Picture and Comedic Picture, won by Frank Borzage and Lewis Milestone, respectively.
Since its origin, Oscar ceremony has been publicly broadcast. Till 1953, radio broadcast used to take place and thereafter, the ceremony was broadcast on TV. During the first decade, the results of the award ceremony were given to newspapers for publication at 11 p.m., at the night of the awards. However, the system was ruined by Los Angeles Times, when it announced the winners even before beginning of the ceremony. It was since then only that a sealed envelope is used to reveal the name of the winners.
It was in 1966 that the broadcasting of Academy Awards ceremony took place in color. This allowed the viewers at home to experience the dazzling allure of the event. After that, there was no looking back and the popularity of the awards ceremony reached insurmountable heights. Today, Oscars are telecasted internationally, reaching movie fans in over 200 countries. Since 2002, the awards have been broadcast from the Kodak Theatre, mesmerizing the local as well as international audience.