It was previously reported that the 2021 Oscars would not only definitely have an in-person telecast but that multiple locations would be used in the broadcast, seemingly to eliminate the potential for a COVID-19 super spreader event. Now Deadline reports that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC (where the broadcast will air) are considering moving the ceremony from The Dolby Theater, home to the Oscars since 2002, to Los Angeles Union Station. Nothing official has been decided as the situation remains fluid, but AMPAS apparently hopes "to have a crowd and nominees" for the event which makes Union Station a more appealing location.
The Dolby Theater won't be entirely out of the equation apparently as the trade notes "the Dolby will be employed in some fashion, but not to hold crowds." Another major question is that if the nominees an other attendees are able to attend the ceremony at Union Station, looked at as a location primarily for the ability to social distance the crowd, will masks still be required for those attending? Deadline says "Maybe not" but offers no sourcing for this theorizing. Despite declining ratings in the Oscars, it would continue to go a long way to see famous people exercising social distancing and wearing masks for a public that eagerly awaits the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the outlet another idea that was floated for the 2021 Oscars, which was beaten out by Union Station, was to use "smaller supper club-type venues in New York, Los Angeles and London." Combined these would have offered mutiple locations to host smaller crowds. In any event this could all change tomorrow, and we likely won't know the final plans until Monday morning when the official nominations for this year's awards are nominated (nominations are set to be finalized this week).
Originally set for February 28th of next year, the 93rd Academy Awards have already been postponed until April 25. This delay will allow the window of competition to be extended for the awards, making the field of entries even bigger. Though typically the eligibility window runs from January to December, this year's awards will honor films released from January 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021, meaning releases like Apple TV+'s Cherry could nab a nomination despite being released two days before the eligibility window closes.
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