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81st and 82nd Academy Awards

Los Angeles, CA

The annual Academy Awards have become one of the greatest shared rituals of our time. Rockwell Group reimagined the stage on which the ceremony takes place, creating an immersive experience to engage an international television audience of more than 37 million people each year.

As the first architect invited to design the set of the Academy Awards, Rockwell Group brought cutting-edge theatrical production techniques to the 80-year-old ceremony.

An aerial view of the theater in 2009.
The design returns the ceremony to its earliest roots as an intimate dinner party.

The pit-like separation between performers and the audience vanished.

Only four steps separate the audience and presenters. Seating from Rockwell Group’s 2001 Kodak Theater design was removed and replaced with a proscenium stage to bring the audience closer—allowing at-home viewers to see celebrity reactions.

A curved screen drops down to display film clips.

At the 82nd annual awards, dynamic sets integrated LEDs, projected images, and moving sets to create a constant play of light and activity.

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