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banner Friday, 22 March, 2002, 12:05 GMT
Academy members refused Oscars entry
Oscars
Statuesque: Giant Oscars are already in place
Nearly 300 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have been told there is no room for them at the Oscars ceremony.

About 275 members have had their requests for invitations for Sunday's 74th annual ceremony turned down due to a shortage of space at the awards' new home.

Click here to put your questions to Michael B Seligman, Oscars show producer

The new 3,300-seat Kodak Theater, in Hollywood, has been custom-built for the Oscars.

But it is significantly smaller than the show's old sites in downtown Los Angeles.

Oscars
Red carpet treatment: A worker sets the scene

The theatre is located at one of the city's best-known intersections - the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

The venue is just across the road from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, where the first Oscars presentation - a relatively low-key, black-tie dinner - was held, on 16 May, 1929.

There has been no indication from the academy as to which of its members have been turned away.

'Brutal'

Academy executive director Bruce Davis said organisers had tried to accommodate as many members as they could, but demand had been overwhelming.

"For those who only wanted the prime orchestra or mezzanine seating, it was brutal," he said.

"There's a huge interest in seeing the new theatre and the terrific show," academy President Frank Pierson said.

Every year, the nominees, presenters, sponsors and members of the academy's board of governors receive two free tickets.

Studios with nominated films each receive a block of tickets.

The remainder are offered to academy members, who number about 6,400 and pay between $50 (36) and $350 (245) for each ticket.

The star-studded ceremony will be presented by Whoopi Goldberg, who last presented the awards in 1999.

Presenters and performers get a 14,000 goody bag of presents and vouchers for their troubles.


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See also:

20 Nov 01 | Oscars 2002
Kodak welcomes the Oscars home
23 Mar 01 | Film
Five injured at Oscars venue
22 Mar 02 | Oscars 2002
Academy members refused Oscars entry
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