It's hard to imagine the Industry's big night leaving the Industry's home town--but New York might have an outside shot at luring the Oscars away if something isn't done about finding a better venue in Los Angeles, says Daily Variety.
The ceremony now alternates irregularly between the Shrine Auditorium (this year's and next year's site) and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. "Each one has a lot of virtues, and each one has built-in problems," said Arthur Hiller, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The cavernous Shrine, called "the Barn" by some, features gruesome traffic conditions, nightmarish parking and an undesirable neighborhood. Many consider the venue itself inhospitable--this year, Barbra Steisand even claimed to have been locked out after she made a trip to the john (conveneniently missing Celine Dion's rendition of her Oscar-nominated "I Finally Found Someone").
Then there's the Dorothy Chandler, Oscar's most frequent host. The problem with Dottie is size. Though more glamorous than its downtown rival, the theater has a mere 3,200 seats--not nearly enough for the 5,000-plus derrieres of Academy members, news media, nominees and assorted guests.
Suggestions have floated for other local venues, such as the Universal Ampitheater or the Pond in Anaheim, but the former is owned by one studio (Universal) and the the latter is home to Disney's Mighty Ducks hockey team, which might not sit well with the other big players in town.
Then there's the Big Apple. The Grammys, which had been a regular at the Shrine, began alternating between New York and L.A. in recent years, and this year became the first major awards show to hold its ceremonies in an arena: Manhattan's Madison Square Garden.
Another option may be a proposed new sports arena for downtown Los Angeles, which would hold both hockey and basketball teams. And its developers and city officials have made no secret of the desire to lure back the Grammys and even attract the Oscars when it opens in 1999.