There will be no “virtual” Oscars.
“The Oscars in-person telecast will happen,” a rep from the Academy reveals.
This year, the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences moved their annual telecast back two months to April 25, 2021, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sources inside the Oscars say that by pushing the awards ceremony back, the Academy hoped that theaters would be open again in the spring, thus allowing for more movies to compete in the annual celebration of the year’s best films.
But even if movie theaters stay closed, by holding the Oscars later in spring, organizers are now focusing to make sure that the event continues as it always has live. That may still create some questions as to exactly how many people are allowed inside the 3,400-seat Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, where the ceremony traditionally takes place.
“The Academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options,” says an awards publicist familiar with the situation.
It’s not clear what safety protocols will be introduced for the ceremony. A representative from the Dolby Theatre declined to comment.
Since the March lockdowns, the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the film industry, with movie theaters closed and production halted. In response, the Academy extended the eligibility timeline from Dec. 31 to Feb. 28, 2021, in addition to having films that premiere on streaming platforms qualify for submission.
The Emmys ceremony in September was a hybrid event that had some in-person elements with host Jimmy Kimmel and most nominees watching the show from home over Zoom.
It’s not clear how many of the nominees will be able to — or will agree to — in-person attendance. In the acting races, many seasoned actors are on the older side, including Anthony Hopkins, 82; Ellen Burstyn, 88; Sophia Loren, 86; Meryl Streep, 71; David Strathairn, 72; and Yuh-Jung Youn, 73.