The glittering 81st Annual Academy Awards have just ended, showering prestigious honors on its winners, and pumping lots of money into the economy.
February 23, 2009 4:38 by Aarti Nagraj
The Academy presented two special awards at the first ceremony in 1929: one to Warner Bros. for producing the pioneering talking picture “The Jazz Singer,” and one to Charles Chaplin for producing, directing, writing and starring in “The Circus.”
Guests had to pay just $5 during the first event; this year, the Academy sued an Arizona-based company Experience 6 for selling fraudulent Oscar packages (tickets plus stay for four) for $175,000.
Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers tabulates the ballots and ensures the secrecy of the results.
The ceremony attracted a record 55.2 million viewers in 1998, the year Titanic won 11 awards out of its 14 nominations.
In 2007, the Clothes Off Our Backs Foundation, an NGO, auctioned off several pieces worn at the 79th Annual Oscars, including Jodie Foster’s gray Vera Wang dress, which fetched $2,000.
Due to a metal shortage during World War II, Oscars were made of painted plaster for three years. After the war, the Academy invited recipients to trade in the plaster figures for gold-plated metal ones.