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On This Day In History: May 16, 1929 – The first ever Academy Awards ceremony was held

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On This Day In History, Academy Awards, Academy Awards ceremony, Oscars, First Oscars Ceremony, May 16, 1929, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, AMPAS

On May 16, the first-ever Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 where the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honoured the best films of 1927 and 1928. The Academy Awards ceremony aka Oscars was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, located in Los Angeles.

Interestingly, it consisted of a private dinner with 36 banquet tables, where 270 people attended and tickets cost five dollars of 1929. This was perhaps the only ceremony which was not broadcast on radio or television as Radio came into action from 1930. The first Oscar ceremony was hosted by AMPAS director Fairbanks during a 15-minutes event. Unlike nowadays’ ceremony, the first Oscar award winners were announced three months before the ceremony.

Major winners at the ceremony included 7th Heaven and Sunrise, in which each received three awards, and Wings, receiving two awards. Among its honours, Sunrise won the award for Unique and Artistic Picture and Wings won the award for Outstanding Picture (now known as Best Picture).


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