Kodak end sponsorship deal with Oscars venue

Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles Preparations for this year's Oscars ceremony are now underway in Hollywood

The Academy Awards will no longer come from the Kodak Theatre after the photo firm was allowed to end its sponsorship deal with the Oscars' Los Angeles home.

Eastman Kodak had been seeking to end the $74m, 20-year naming rights deal it signed in 2000.

CIM Group, the real estate company that owns the theatre, objected but a judge ruled in Kodak's favour this week.

CIM is not required to remove the Kodak name from the theatre facade before the Academy Awards are held on 26 February.

The venue, on Hollywood Boulevard, next to the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre, has played host to the Academy Awards since 2002.

The CIM Group has made no comment on the ruling but is likely to seek a new corporate sponsor for the theatre.

Alternative venue

Any new deal would require the approval of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisers of the Oscars - but whether the Oscars will remain at the theatre is itself up for debate.

In December, the Academy exercised an option in its 20-year deal with the CIM Group that allows it to consider other venues, before deciding whether to recommit to the theatre for the final 10 years of its contract.

Earlier this month, Eastman Kodak announced it was to stop making digital cameras in order to focus on more profitable divisions.

The 133-year-old company entered bankruptcy protection from its creditors last month after failing to keep up with competitors.

Of the nine films nominated for this year's best picture Oscar, seven were shot on Kodak film.

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