Eastman Kodak have ended their sponsorship deal with the Los Angeles theatre venue which has been home to the annual Oscars ceremony since 2002. The real estate group that own the venue, CIM, tried to object to the ruling but a judge favoured Kodak in the hearing.
CIM Group have not yet released a statement regarding the ruling but a BBC article suggests that they are likely to seek another corporate sponsor. According to the report, CIM are not obliged to remove the sponsor's name from the facade of the building until after this year's ceremony, which takes place on February 26, 2012. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be required to approve any new sponsorship deal, though the future of the venue, in relation to hosting the Oscars is itself up for debate. Of the nine films nominated for Best Picture at this year's Oscars, seven of them were shot on Kodak film. Despite Kodak's popularity in the industry, however, the company have failed to keep up with competitors in the commercial field and last month sought bankruptcy protection from its creditors. Kodak's financial situation is thought to be the reason behind their withdrawal from the sponsorship agreement.
The Academy have already announced a number of this year's celebrity presenters, including Chris Rock, who returns after a seven year gap. Melissa McCarthy, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Halle Berry and Emma Stone are also among those scheduled to present awards at the ceremony this year. The Oscars have long been considered the most prestigious of the film industry's awards ceremonies.