Are the Oscars in Jeopardy? Hollywood on High Alert

"Not having the awards shows and not having these stars up their talking about the films, thanking their co-stars, directors and studios, can definitely effect the total box office." says Variety's Levine.

"These kinds of awards shows especially help the smaller films like Juno, The Great Debaters and Savages — the kinds of movies that can use all the promotional help they can get."

Adds Andreeva: "There is nothing like a prime time ceremony where people all over the country and world can see the stars and clips from the movies."

Not Business as Usual

Los Angeles is an industry town. Some might say a one-industry town. A protracted labor dispute usually cuts a company town deep.

The 10-week-old writers strike is no exception.

The production shutdowns have put the squeeze on a wide variety of businesses that depend on a flourishing not floundering entertainment industry.

Caterers, limo drivers, makeup and hair stylists, hotels and restaurants, dry cleaners — the list is exhaustive. All have suffered during the strike. The cancellation of big awards shows just adds to the misery.

According to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., the Oscars can pump as much as $130 million into the local economy. The Golden Globes can enrich the community by almost $80 million.

"We are very concerned about the impact of the lingering strike," said Leron Gubler, head of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

"The Oscars, if canceled, would have a great impact on us here because it is held in the Kodak Theatre and a lot of parties are held near here at various Hollywood night spots."

Bad for the Head

Laurent Dufourg is a legendary "hairdresser to the stars" and his winters are typically spent fashioning the high-priced heads of Hollywood's top stars for their big nights on the red carpet.

Dufourg has created memorable looks for a long line of A-listers including Uma Thurman, Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sharon Stone and Teri Hatcher.

But he describes this awards season as "catastrophic" with at least a 30 percent drop in revenue the last two months.

"It [the strike] is dramatically impacting my business," said Dufourg.

"Usually by this time of the year I am booked by at least three or four people for the awards and booked solid for the events before and after. For the last month I did not get one call at all. I knew then nobody was going."

But even with the downturn, there is a potential bright side for some.

Prospective customers who faced a wait of months to get an appointment with the stylist to the stars can probably get in his chair now.

"I'm free!" he said with a chuckle.

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