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Oscars update rules to allow drive-in screenings

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media captionWhy this black drive-in cinema has become a big hit

The Academy has updated its Oscars rules to allow films shown at drive-in cinemas to qualify for best picture and general entry categories.

The new rules also state that a theatrical run of seven days would meet the eligibility criteria.

It follows their decision in April to allow films without traditional cinematic releases, as long as they are uploaded to the Academy Screening Room.

Next year's event has been delayed until 25 April 2021, due to Covid-19.

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The closing date for films up for consideration to be submitted is now 28 February.

"With the gradual re-opening of theatres, an addendum was added to clarify the two methods for qualification in the best picture and general entry categories moving forward through the end of this exceptional awards year " the organisers said in a statement on Variety.

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image captionRebel Wilson and James Corden joked about Cats' visual effects at last year's Oscars

Outdoor drive-in cinemas have long been a tradition in the US and have proved popular during the pandemic.

They have been trialled across the UK too, as many actual cinemas battle to stay open.

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image captionLast year's winners: Best supporting actress Laura Dern with best actress Renee Zellweger

This week Cineworld decided to shut its doors until spring, following the news that the upcoming James Bond movie has been pushed back again.

Odeon soon followed suit, announcing that some of its screens would open at weekends only, for now. But Showcase Cinemas, which started reopening its cinemas in July, said it is "committed to keeping them open".

In July, a major drive-in music and comedy tour was cancelled, however, due to fresh fears around local outbreaks of the virus and its ongoing financial implications.

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