Kodak Wants To Wipe Its Name Off Of Academy Awards Venue

It’s generally seen as bad form for a bankrupt company like Kodak to have its name plastered on a theater as a title sponsor. Kodak, which filed for Chapter 11 protection last month, has realized it would have a lot more cash to burn if it could wriggle out of a $75 million, 20-year commitment to slap its name on the Kodak Theatre, which hosts the Academy awards.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports Kodak is asking the bankruptcy court to let it spend the money on better things than venue naming rights.

Kodak entered the deal in 2000. If the company is successful in peeling its name off the theater, prepare for next year’s Oscars telecast at The Theatre Formerly Known As Kodak.

Kodak Seeks Hollywood Exit [The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) via Deadline]

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  1. SporadicBlah says:

    Hind sight is 20/20

  2. madcatcasey says:

    Perhaps things like this are why your company is bankrupt?

  3. zantafio says:

    $75millions for 20 years? Wow, that’s a lot less than what they pay to sponsor attractions at Disneyland and Disney World.

    • scoosdad says:

      Disney parks will be next up on the list of Kodak cutbacks, I’d bet.

      My theory is that the Kodak Theatre came up first before Disney, because the producers of the Academy Awards show wanted some kind of decision made on this before they got too deep into pre-production of the broadcast. They have to generate graphics and pre-record all kinds of things for the show that may involve mention of the name “Kodak”, not to mention advertising for the show which may mention the venue’s name.

      Despite this building allegedly having been built as the ‘permanent’ home of the Oscars, the Motion Picture Academy has already exercised an option to be able to get out of their lease and leave the Kodak Theatre after 2013 to potentially move to a new location, if they choose. They’d just go where they can find a better deal.

      • daveSH says:

        “Despite this building allegedly having been built as the ‘permanent’ home of the Oscars, the Motion Picture Academy has already exercised an option to be able to get out of their lease and leave the Kodak Theatre after 2013 to potentially move to a new location, if they choose. They’d just go where they can find a better deal.”

        That’s the real point of getting out: The Awards are moving out of this theater – there is absolutely no value in continuing with the “deal” when bankruptcy provides a convenient “out”. It is surprising that the media has not really picked up on this.

  4. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but if I would watch the Academy Awards, it makes no difference to me what the theater is named. I wouldn’t say “OMG It’s named after Kodak, I want a camera or for them to develop film”. It could be named The Realto for all I care.

    madcatcasey – you have it exactly right. $3,750,000 a year just to have your company name on a theater that hosts a once a year show that runs for a few hours?

    • The Lone Gunman says:

      Is the venue only used for the one event, and no others?

      We may have a similar situation coming up here in Dallas, with the American Airlines Center. I’m curious to see how that shakes out with the bankruptcy court.

    • fatediesel says:

      There’s a lot more going on at the Kodak Theatre than the Academy Awards. It hosts numerous concerts, award shows, and plays throughout the year.

  5. rlmiller007 says:

    Stay tuned for “Google” theater.

  6. valkyrievf2x says:

    Ooooh, pretty camera!!

    You know, now that I think about it, did Kodak advertise through more regular channels on a decent basis? Can’t say I remember any ads of theirs in a long time, whether for cameras, film, or printers… Doesn’t strike me as this particular investment was a good return for the money…

    • The Lone Gunman says:

      You have a point there.

      The last Kodak advertising I can recall had to do with people flipping over photographs to verify the use of Kodak paper, and the one with the catchphrase you still hear folks occasionally use today–the “Kodak Moment.”

  7. Torchwood says:

    Things were much different for Kodak in 2000 than they were now. And there is no denying the fact that Kodak film played a major role in the film industry.

    Now, if only we can get the name “Power Balance” off the name of the arena where the Sacramento Kings play.

    • nybiker says:

      I had to look them up as I had never heard of them until I read your comment. To me, after reading about PB, they are right up there with U of Arizona. Silicone wristbands! And to have made so much money from them that they can now be a corporate john for the pavilion (let’s use the correct name, now) really speaks to how gullible some people are.

      My wish is for all naming rights deals to go away. I have said it before, just name the joint or event after someone. We do not need to have millions of college bowl games every year and stadiums and car races, etc, do not need to be known this year by one john’s name and next year by another (see Enron and PsiNet as proof).

      • DangerMouth says:

        OR just leave them with their real names? Candlestick Park >> Pac Bell Park >> AT&T Park. Give it a rest guys, plaster your name all over the inside, but give the traffic reporters and commuters a break.

        And this goes for all the re-naming of bridges and roads after MLK and RFK too, OK? (Grove Street and Triboro Bridge, I’m looking at you).

  8. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Maybe it could sell the naming rights to someone else? I’m not sure how that would work. Personally I don’t care what it’s called; I’m never going to go inside there, although I’ve driven/walked by it several times. Unless I write an Oscar-nominated screenplay, which isn’t likely.

  9. kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

    How about Sesame Street Theater. I mean, since it’s Oscar’s award show.

  10. nybiker says:

    I actually used to watch the awards show (I’ve actually flown to LA to attend the MPSE Golden Reel Awards too) but after the corporate john name became attached to the theatre, well, I wasn’t gonna do it anymore. Wouldn’t be prudent.