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Today in History (1929): The First Academy Awards Ceremony is Held

The Oscar night, regarded as one of the most prestigious nights in the movie industry started out with simple beginnings in 1929. Read on to find out more about that first of many glamorous nights after the cut.

The first Academy Awards at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, May 16, 1929 Image via Oscars

It is almost considered as the culmination of efforts of every Hollywood actor, director, screenwriter, editor – you name it. The Academy Awards have seen movies, performances and creative direction in almost all forms and styles and they continue to honor the exemplary efforts of the men and women behind the silver screen in their annual awards night.

The first Academy Awards was held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929. 270 were in attendance and the tickets cost just five dollars (a big sum of money during those times.) Far from the luxury that the modern Oscar nights bat for, the ceremonies lasted only 15 minutes since only twelve awards were presented and an additional 20 certificates for honorable mention.

Although the more extravagant awards we know today may dwarf the first Oscar night, the awards given to the winners are not to be belittled. Works in between 1927 and 1928 were screened by the judges and a winner can be awarded for several works he or she had done during the time. One example was the recipient of the Best Actress award, Janet Gaynor for her work in “7th Heaven,” “Street Angel,” and “Sunrise.” Winners were already announced three months prior to the awarding ceremony.

Another big winner at the first Academy Awards was “Wings,” a silent movie directed by William Wellman starring Clara Bow and Charles Rogers for taking home the Best Film award. The same film won the Best Academy Award for Engineering Effects. The 1929 Academy Awards also recognized the work of Charlie Chaplin for acting, writing, directing, and producing the film “The Circus.”

Indeed, the Academy Awards have gone a long way from its humble beginnings in post World War Hollywood.

All information used in this article were sourced from Oscars official website, and History.

Like this article? Check out more stories from our Today in History and Throwback Thursday series.

written by cheeo

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