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Kodak name to disappear from Academy Awards theater?

Kodak receives approval from a bankruptcy judge to end a 20-year sponsorship deal worth $72 million to save money after filing for Chapter 11 reorganization.

February 15, 2012|By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
  • Eastman Kodak Co. has received approval from a bankruptcy judge to end a 20-year sponsorship deal for the Hollywood & Highland theater that hosts the Academy Awards. Above, crews move an Oscar statue outside the theater's entrance before the 2011 ceremonies.
Eastman Kodak Co. has received approval from a bankruptcy judge to end a… (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times )

Eastman Kodak Co. won court approval Wednesday to remove its name from the Hollywood theater that hosts the Academy Awards.

New York Bankruptcy Court Judge Allan Gropper rejected an effort by landlord CIM/H&H Media to compel Kodak to continue with a 20-year sponsorship deal signed in 2000 that is worth $72 million, spokespeople confirmed.

The Kodak Theatre opened at the Hollywood & Highland complex in November 2001 and has since housed 10 Oscar ceremonies.

Kodak sought to cancel the agreement, under which it paid about $3.6 million a year, to save money after its January filing for Chapter 11 reorganization.

The judge did not rule on how quickly the Kodak name could be removed. Landlord CIM claimed in an earlier court filing that removing it before the Academy Awards ceremony Feb. 26 was "not practically feasible."

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has considered moving the Oscars ceremony to the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles beginning in 2014. An academy spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

ben.fritz@latimes.com

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