(LOS ANGELES-AFP) – The theater that has hosted the US Academy Awards for the last decade will no longer bear the Kodak name as a result of the iconic company’s bankruptcy.
A bankruptcy court on Wednesday approved Kodak’s request to cancel its contract with the theater, ruling that it was “in the best interests of the debtors, their estates, their creditors and other parties.”
The contract between Eastman Kodak and theater owner CIM was valued at $72 million — $3.6 million per year for 20 years.
The court’s ruling went into effect immediately, but it said CIM “may, but is not required to, delay the removal of the signage associating the theater with the debtors (Kodak).”
The ruling comes just 10 days before the 84th Academy Awards, Hollywood’s premiere prize gala. Neither the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nor CIM was available for comment.
The theater, inaugurated in November 2001 with seating for 3,332, has hosted the Academy Awards since 2002.
Kodak, an iconic American firm that introduced generations of consumers to mass-market cameras, filed for bankruptcy last month.
The company hopes that seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection will give it time to reorganize its businesses — and possibly sell off its valuable patent portfolio — to avoid being shut down entirely.