Security Issues May Force Oscars to Old Venue

Security concerns may force the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to move the Oscars from their new Hollywood home back to the Shrine Auditorium.

The Academy has given the developer of the 3,600-seat Kodak Theatre an Oct. 15 deadline to resolve security issues, or it will move the March 24 show back to downtown Los Angeles.

"There are a number of problems, each coming with their own set of complications," said spokeswoman Leslie Unger. "All these things need to be dealt with and dealt with soon. Otherwise, we have to give the Shrine enough time to deal with the enormous undertaking of putting on this awards show."

The Academy says the developer, TrizecHahn, has not followed through on issues previously agreed upon. One major sticking point involves the Academy having security access to stores next to the entertainment complex so it can perform bomb sweeps on the day of the show.

"It would be silly to say that people's awareness hasn't been heightened by what's happened," Unger said, referring to last week's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. "The Oscars have an enormous audience. Somebody who wants attention knows they could find it at the show."

Unger added that the unresolved points have left the Academy wondering whether the developer was even interested in keeping it as a customer.

A TrizecHahn spokeswoman insisted the company did.

"We enjoy working with the Academy and we're confident that we'll be able to meet their needs," said Beth Harris, a marketing director for the firm.