A brief history of the Oscars

A look back at how the world's most watched awards show got its surprising start.
2:59 | 02/26/17

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Transcript for A brief history of the Oscars
He Oscars were Hollywood's brightest stars come to shine at the most watched awards ceremony in the world. This mega show get its star. Adding ABC news a brief kiss. It all began in 1929. The roaring twenties were coming to an end prohibition in full effect. And the country just a few months away from the Great Depression. Louis B Mayer a prominent studio executive who sought to unite the five branches of the film industry. Actors directors producers technicians and writers. Mayor who went on to co found MGM studios saw added benefits of creating the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. How I found the best way to handle filmmakers he said was hang metals all over them. I got them cups and awards they've killed and whose what I want. And so on May sixteenth 1929. 270 guests packed in the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel for the first Academy Awards. There was no radio or television broadcasts tickets cost just five dollars and everyone already knew the winners war. The fifteen statue it's given out that night were made of gold plated Britannia model black metal base each weighing in at eight point five pounds. Designed by Cedric Gibbons the art Deco statue depicted a night holding a crusader soared. Standing in a reel of film with five's folks representing the five branches of the film industry. No one knows exactly how the us or got its name. Some credit the academy librarian others Betty Davis even Walt Disney. Who to this day holds the record for most Oscar wins. Few words quickly grew to become one of the premier events on the calendar. By 1942. They had become so popular. The academy was forced to host the ceremony in the massive Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Ever since then the awards event hosted inside a theater. In 1953. The first televised broadcast of the Oscars air posted by Bob Hope ladies and gentlemen mr. Bob Hope. Who would go on to host 19 times. Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to assist spent. And the ceremony would continue to grow in attendance and viewership. By 1998. The award for being watched for 55 million people around the world. And by 2007. The ad price would skyrocket to one point six million dollars a spot. So there it is the Oscars went from being a small gathering of Hollywood who leads to the largest most watched awards ceremony in the world. All thanks to one guy who just wanted a bit more power on the silver screen.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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