The Original Academy Awards Ceremony
Today, the annual Academy Awards show is a glamorous, golden spectacle of the very best that the film industry can offer fans. Some of the best-looking, most talented people on the planet parade around, bedecked in the finest fashions and most elegant attire, in what has become a global phenomenon.
In 1927, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was established by Louis B. Mayer, the film producer and co-founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio. Mayer’s purpose in creating the Academy Awards was to unite the five branches of the film industry, including actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers.
The first Academy Awards ceremony was a relatively modest affair that took place at a private dinner in the ballroom of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. The results were announced three months in advance and not on the night itself, taking away from the now familiar nail-biting aura of suspense that pervades the current-day event. At the first awards show, which was hosted by Douglas Fairbanks, there were only 12 categories. The equivalent of the Best Actor award went to Emil Jannings, and the Best Actress went to Janet Gaynor. Back in 1929, this historic event was the only Academy Awards not to be broadcast, and the entire presentation took a miniscule 15 minutes. Yet, from little acorns, mighty oaks do grow. Nowadays, the Academy Awards broadcast can last an exhaustive three hours or more, and as many as 44 million Americans have tuned in to watch.