The Academy Awards ceremonies have been splendidly celebrating the best of cinema by recognizing excellence and achievements in the American and international film industry for over nine decades now. This oldest entertainment awards ceremony of the world is organized and presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and is awaited with much avidity by both professionals from the film industry as well as cinephiles. Since its inception, the award ceremony has been held in many venues before the AMPAS developed Hollywood's Dolby Theatre (earlier called the Kodak Theatre) which became venue of this annual gala event since 2002.
The Blossom Ballroom of the historic The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel situated in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California, was selected as venue of the 1st Academy Awards ceremony. It was held more as a private ceremony without much pageantry on May 16, 1929, with about 270 people in attendance in a 15 minutes event that had a ticket price of $5 per guest.
The famous yesteryear Cocoanut Grove nightclub inside the now demolished Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles remained venue for the 2nd (April, 1930), 3rd (November 1930), 5th (1932), 6th (1934), 12th (1940) and 15th (1943) Academy Awards ceremonies. Meanwhile eight Oscar awards ceremonies were hosted in the Biltmore Bowl of the Biltmore Hotel, located in Downtown Los Angeles, California. These include the 4th (1931), 7th (1935), 8th (1936), 9th (1937), 10th (1938), 11th (1939), 13th (1941) and 14th (1942) Academy Awards ceremonies. Interestingly, the AMPAS itself was founded in the Crystal Ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel in May 1927.
The Oscar awards ceremonies in 1944, 1945, and 1946 were held at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. For the next couple of years the majestic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles remained venue of the ceremony. As rumors did the rounds that major Hollywood studios were making attempts to influence the voters, the studios stopped providing financial support which led the AMPAS to present the 1949 ceremony at their own theater in Hollywood, California, instead of at the Shrine Auditorium. The Shrine Auditorium again hosted the event in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001.
Starting from the 22nd Academy Awards ceremony (1950) till the 32nd (1960), the event was hosted at the RKO Pantages Theatre located at Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles, California. Among them the 25th (1953), which marked as the first Academy Awards ceremony that was televised, was held concurrently in the NBC International Theatre on Columbus Circle in New York City, where a portion of the event was hosted. It was the first of the five Oscar events that were aired from Los Angeles as well as New York City as the next four ceremonies occurring from 1954 to 1957 were held simultaneously at the RKO Pantages Theatre and the NBC Century Theatre in New York City.
From 1961 to 1968, the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California remained home of the annual Academy Awards events. The ceremony was shifted to Dorothy Chandler Pavilion within the Los Angeles County Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles in 1969 and was held there till 1987 and again in 1990, 1992 to 1994, 1996, and 1999.
While celebrating the spirit of cinema the Academy Awards ceremony has with time embraced several changes to keep abreast with the ever-evolving world of cinema and has earned repute as one of the most prestigious and major film award ceremonies of the world. However while presenting this grand event in different venues at different times the AMPAS faced several logistical issues which eventually led it to plan to develop a proper venue for the event. This resulted in development of the live-performance auditorium called Dolby Theatre (earlier called the Kodak Theatre) within the Ovation Hollywood shopping center and entertainment complex located in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Designed especially keeping the Academy Awards ceremonies in mind, the theatre was opened on November 9, 2001. Starting from the 74th Academy Awards ceremony (2002), it has remained home for the annual Academy Awards ceremonies, barring only the 2021 held 93rd Academy Awards ceremony that was downsized and presented at the Los Angeles Union Station because of the COVID-19 pandemic.