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The owner of the Hollywood and Highland Center plans to vigorously fight Eastman Kodak Co.’s attempt to take the Kodak name off the home of the Oscars.
Built to house the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences annual awards show, the Kodak Theatre has been known by that name since its opening in 2001. The complex that houses the theater is a year-around draw to tourists.
As part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy it filed last month, however, Kodak made a bid to cancel the 20-year naming rights agreement that put its name on the venue.
Not so fast, said the Hollywood complex’s owner, CIM/H&H Media L.P., in a motion filed Wednesday with the Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court. After just over a decade of Oscars ceremonies beamed worldwide from the Kodak Theatre, the name has become an icon of the awards gala and an institution in its own right.
In its Jan. 31 motion seeking to reject the Kodak Theatre contract, Kodak maintained continuing to pay the unstated significant sum it lays out to keep its name on the theater is not a sound business move in its current circumstances and the money would better go to pay other creditors.
Exposure of the Kodak name to some 30 million people whose gaze falls on the Kodak Theatre signage around Los Angeles, 100,000 people a year who attend events at the theater and others provides Kodak with some $500 million worth of advertising, CIM/H&H Media states in the filing.
“Signs bearing the Kodak Theatre name were not only placed in the theater itself and the property surrounding the theater, but also at street signs and in freeway off ramp signage all around the city of Los Angeles. One Kodak Theatre sign in particular…at the grand entrance of the Kodak Theatre, has been photographed and printed hundreds of thousands of times, and has become, for all intents and purposes, a Los Angeles landmark,” CIM states in court papers.
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