The prospect of Oscars-as-usual seemed unthinkable until recently, but a new report suggests that the event in late April may look a lot more like the traditional annual gala and less of a remotely assembled event.
“There will be no ‘virtual’ Oscars,” read the lede of a new story from Variety’s Clayton Davis, which quoted an unnamed representative of the Academy saying “The Oscars in-person telecast will happen.”
Whether that means only participants will be on the stage, or a crowd will be in the audience as well is unclear.
The ceremony has been postponed two months to April 25 due to the havoc that the COVID-19 pandemic played with the film release schedule, and all expectations were for an audience-free telecast with nominees and participants in isolation, as viewers have seen with other shows such as the Emmy Awards.
There was no official confirmation or statement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but the Variety report states that organizers have been examining the Dolby Theatre to find options for in-house guests. The venue seats about 3,300 people on Oscar night (roughly 100 of the usual seats are unavailable due to the presence of the production,) so there is room to spread people out if the show chooses to have a smaller guest list.
With numerous vaccines in the works, and Hollywood getting used to the concept of widespread testing for active productions, Hollywood’s most glamorous night could be described in a way that the exotic setting usually defies: normal.
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