Oscars Theater No Longer Named Kodak?

Feb 16, 2012 6:13pm

Cameras are certain to flash and stars to flood the streets of Hollywood for the Oscars a week from Sunday, but the name of the theater where the stars will gather is unclear.

That’s because a court on Wednesday authorized to The Eastman Kodak Co. to end its sponsorship of the Kodak Theater, the venue for the Oscars. It was unclear today when the sponsorship would cease and the name of the theater would officially change.

“Kodak is a company that has been transforming,” Kodak spokesman Christopher Veronda told ABC News. “It was part of the bankruptcy court proceedings. We are taking a number of actions to reduce the cost that we undertook.”

The 20-year sponsorship agreement was signed in 2000 and was worth $72 million. New York bankruptcy court judge Allan Gropper turned down the plea by CIM/H&H Media, the landlord of the theater, to force the Eastman Kodak Co. to continue the contract.

ABC News contacted CIM but the company declined to comment.

Click here for complete coverage of the 2012 Oscars

Kodak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, and has since made cuts to save money. This month, it released a statement announcing “plans to phase out its dedicated capture devices business – comprising digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames.”

The push to end the theater sponsorship was another move to cut back while the company tried to rebound from debt. If it had stuck to the contract, Kodak would have had to pay about $3 million each year.

The Kodak Theatre laid out the red carpet and opened its doors at the Hollywood and Highland complex in November 2001. Since it opened, 10 Oscar ceremonies have been held there.

Veronda insisted that although the sponsorship had to end, Kodak’s relationship with the entertainment industry will continue.

“Kodak is proud of its important role in the entertainment industry and our longstanding relationship with filmmakers,” Veronda said. “We continue to play a big role in the entertainment industry.”

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