Oscar Week: The History Of The Oscars

Welcome to YakkityYak’s Oscar Week! We have a whole bunch of fun things planned for the week so be sure to keep your eyes on the Yak! Also, be sure to head into our forum HERE during the week where we will be voting for what nominees we think should win, leading up to First Annual Yakkster Oscars to be handed out on Sunday, February 27th. (No need to register to vote!) PLUS, just to see who’s the best when it comes to actual Oscar predictions, we’ll have a “Predict The Actual Winner” contest, with a prize of course! To enter to win a prize, you must be registered in the forum. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER, then go vote!

We thought we would start out this week with the history of the Oscars and how the annual tradition got it’s start. It began with man named Louis B. Mayer, studio boss of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who conceived the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1927. Initially, it was a non-profit corporation made to promote the art of movie making. The Academy had 36 members at it’s beginning, with Douglas Fairbanks Sr. acting as president. The very first Academy Awards were actually held out of the public eye; a private banquet at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was held to hand out the awards on May 16th, 1929. Tickets to the event held in what is known as the “Blossom Room” cost just $5!

There was very little suspense, actually no suspense at all, during this first ceremony, as the winners were already announced three months prior to the event. The following year, however, the Academy decided to keep the results private, only releasing a list of the winners to various news publications to be released at 11:00pm the night of the awards. This practice worked for awhile, until 1940, when the LA Times broke protocol and published the winners in the evening edition, which nominees were able to read as they arrived at the event. Yikes! Thus, the sealed envelope system was born in 1941, which is still in use today.

Only 15 awards were handed out at the first awards ceremony, representing cinematic achievements for 1927 and 1928. Emil Jannings won the first Best Actor Oscar, and received the very first Oscar statuette, literally. Jannings put in a request to have it delivered to him early since he was unable to attend the ceremony; he needed to return to Europe before the event could begin. This first ceremony was the only one that didn’t have an audience, but the enthusiasm surrounding the event was so great that an L.A. radio station began having a special one hour broadcast. It has been broadcast via radio and TV ever since.

The awards themselves continued to be held as a banquet at the Biltmore or Ambassador Hotels until 1942, when increased attendance made it impractical. The Academy needed a change of scenery to accommodate the growing amount of guests, so the 16th Annual Academy Awards were held at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, marking the move to a theater ever since. The first televised Oscars occurred in 1953 allowing millions across the U.S. and Canada to take in this prestigious event. The first color broadcast occurred in 1966, and the first international broadcast in 1969!

There are a ton of little known facts and fascinating Oscar trivia which the Yak will be proudly presenting to you in the coming week, with “Oscar Didja Know?” daily articles, Nominee specific articles, and more! So, keep your browsers tuned into the Yak all week, and don’t forget to come over to the FORUM and vote in the Oscar polls. You just may win a prize!

Also, be sure to leave a comment below! Are you excited for the Oscars? Do you have Oscar parties? Who do you want to win?

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