DOLBY LABS BUYS NAMING RIGHTS FOR THEATER THAT HOSTS OSCARS. LOS ANGELES, ITALIA CONGRATULATES WITH THE CIM GROUP’s PRINCIPALS: SHAUL, AVI and RICHARD
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which could have opted to move the awards after 2013, has also agreed to extend its lease with the theater through 2033.
The site of next year's Academy Awards ceremony will be called the Dolby Theater, shown above before this year's red-carpet arrivals.
The auditorium has been known as the Kodak Theatre since it opened 2001, butEastman Kodak Co. EKDKQ -6.34%relinquished its naming rights after the company filed for bankruptcy protection in January.
Kodak's departure drew bids from a variety of potential sponsors, including auto makers, media companies and banks that were eager to associate their name with the glitz of the annual Academy Awards.
The winner, Dolby Laboratories, DLB -1.33% was chosen by CIM Group, the Los Angeles-based real-estate investor that acquired the theater and adjoining hotel and shopping complex for $201 million in 2004. The Academy, however, had input into the selection process and held veto power over candidates.
Dolby won with a bid that was "substantially above" the nearly $4 million a year that Kodak had been paying for naming rights, a CIM official said.
The Academy's lease with the theater at the Hollywood & Highland Center ran through 2022, but it notified CIM late last year that it planned to opt out following the 2013 Oscars, using an option the Academy negotiated with the theater's previous owner.
Hollywood trade publications reported that the Academy was in talks with other venues, including the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, but it decided to stay with CIM through 2033.
"The Academy's Board of Governors believes that the home for our awards is in Hollywood," Tom Sherak, Academy president, said in a statement.
CIM spent $30 million on improving the shopping complex by finding new tenants and tying to increase its appeal as a destination for locals, rather than just a tourist attraction.
Shaul Kuba, a CIM co-founder, said the two new contracts "affirms Hollywood as a thriving district."