Wednesday, January 04, 2012

What Happens to the Academy Awards If Kodak Files Bankruptcy?

Rumors are flying that the Eastman Kodak Company, founded by the late George Eastman (July 12, 1854 – March 14, 1932) may file for bankruptcy. If the company does, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences could lose it's Oscar home over the last 10 years in the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the company based in Rochester, N.Y., agreed to pay $75 million over 20 years for their name on the theater, owned by the CIM Group. With that agreement, Kodak, aligned its company identity each year with the biggest motion picture event in Hollywood.

However, according to sources, if an Academy move does happen, it's not likely until after the 2013 broadcast. Apparently, there are certain clauses in the contract that representatives for Kodak and the Academy are now studying. My former colleagues employed in the accounting offices at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), will probably stay busy at the Academy after this year's awards.

Believe it or not, but the Academy may have outgrown the Kodak Theatre (seats 3,332), and other larger venues have opened in downtown Los Angeles, such as the Nokia Theatre (seats 7,100). On Wall Street, Kodak shares are no longer offered in dollars. At today's close, the price per share was 47 cents. Consequently, Kodak has apparently been warned by the New York Stock Exchange that its stock will be delisted if the price remains below $1 per share for the next six months.

Eastman Kodak has played a vital role in the development of motion pictures in America, helping to set the standard of 35 mm film, and introducing the 16 mm film format for home movies use and low-budget commercial films. Anyone remember Kodacolor, Kodachrome, and Technicolor in three colors?

But their biggest achievement was when the company introduced its first motion picture film designed especially for making sound motion pictures. If anyone knows anything much about American movies, they know that it was cooperation between George Eastman and Harry Warner of Warner Brothers Studios, that made the first synchronized sound, or "talkie," possible.  Eastman Kodak's first sound system for motion pictures was known as Vitaphone.

The movie wasn't a total talkie, but consisted of synchronized sound sequences dispersed within the 1927 black and white movie, The Jazz Singer, which had about 15 minutes of Al Jolsen singing. For more on Eastman Kodak's contribution, for which they have been awarded a number of Academy Awards, click.

Here is an appeal: If you are a investor, i.e., gambler, on Wall Street, please take a gamble on Eastman Kodak. Let's get those share prices up to at least $l.00!

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Thank you for commenting! Mimi