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Oscars in the past: Interesting trivia you didn’t know about the Academy Awards of yore

Ian Smith

It’s that time of the year, when you know which movie to watch, your Facebook news feed flowing with “quintessential”  questions like: Will this be Leonardo DiCaprio’s year to finally win an Oscar?, is the host going to be good or a total trainwreck ( Yes, we are talking about you, James Franco) and stuff like that.

Needless to say, The Academy Awards are one of the most recognized award show in the world, and  one of the most glamorous and glitzy ceremonies that we all, at some point, have watched.

We made a little research and discovered surprisingly cool facts about the first academy award show and other cool trivia facts about the Oscars.

So the Academy award for the most interesting facts goes to:

1.The First Academy Awards were held on May 16, in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

The 1st Annual Academy Awards Presentations on May 16, 1929, establishing this annual tradition which continues more than 80 years later

In 1927, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was established by Louis B. Mayer, originator of Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation, which then would be joined into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Mayer’s purpose in creating the award was to unite the five branches of the film industry, including actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. Mayer commented on the creation of the awards “I found that the best way to handle [filmmakers] was to hang medals all over them … If I got them cups and awards they’d kill them to produce what I wanted. That’s why the Academy Award was created”.


2.Tickets cost Peanuts for the first show.
Academy Awards Ticket 1988
Academy Awards Ticket 1988

For the first academy awards the tickets cost $5 (which would be $69 today).


3. The first Academy Awards lasted shorter than you can imagine


The entire presentation ceremony lasted fifteen minutes.


4.Winners were announced three months before the ceremony



5. Oscar is not the official name of the statuette.


It’s a common knowledge  that the handsome golden statute goes by the name Oscar, but in fact the official name is Academy Award of Merit. The origin of the name Oscar is disputed. One biography of Bette Davis, who was a president of the Academy claims that she named the Oscar after her first husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson; one of the earliest mentions in print of the term Oscar dates back to a Time magazine article about the 1934 6th Academy Awards. Walt Disney is also quoted as thanking the Academy for his Oscar as early as 1932. Another claimed origin is that the Academy’s Executive Secretary, Margaret Herrick, first saw the award in 1931 and made reference to the statuette’s reminding her of her “Uncle Oscar” (a nickname for her cousin Oscar Pierce). Columnist Sidney Skolsky was present during Herrick’s naming and seized the name in his byline, “Employees have affectionately dubbed their famous statuette ‘Oscar'”.The trophy was officially dubbed the “Oscar” in 1939 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

6. The Statute is rather hefty.


Made of gold-plated britannium on a black metal base, it is 13.5 in (34.3 cm) tall, weighs 8.5 lb (3.856 kg) and depicts a knight rendered in Art Deco style holding a crusader’s sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes. The five spokes represent the original branches of the Academy: Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers, and Technicians


7.Due to a metal shortage during World War II, Oscars were made of painted plaster for three years.

Following the war, the Academy invited recipients to redeem the plaster figures for gold-plated metal ones

8.The Academy Awards were presented on TV for the first time on March 19, 1953, on NBC.

video source: Ocars.go


Ian Smith

Ian Smith is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News