HOLLYWOOD (CBS) — The Eastman Kodak Company Wednesday asked a U.S. bankruptcy court to void its 20-year $75 million contract with CIM Group, which gives it naming rights to the landmark theatre located in the Hollywood and Highland Center.
The venue, which seats more than 3,000 people opened in 2001 and became the first permanent home of the Academy Awards.
The naming of Kodak Theatre represented a 20-year marketing deal between Eastman Kodak and CIM, which its web site calls “one of the most significant non-sports corporate sponsorships in history.”
A spokesman for Kodak said Wednesday, “Kodak is proud of its important role in the Entertainment industry, and our long standing relationship with film makers. Our motion today reflects our commitment to ensure that we are maximizing value for our entertainment customers, creditors and other stakeholders.”
CIM Group declined to comment, citing the legal nature of the matter.
In addition to being the home of the Academy Awards since 2001, the venue has played host to international performing acts as well as the “American Idol” finals, Daytime Emmy Awards, and various other televised events.
Kodak’s request comes just weeks before the 84th Annual Academy Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not respond to a request for comment by the time of this post.
For at least 78 years, the Academy Awards Best Picture winner was produced on Kodak film.
The Hollywood Reporter said Wednesday a source at the Academy confirmed negotiations have begun with CIM to keep the Oscars ceremony at the theatre beyond the contract opt-out window in 2013.
Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Jan. 19.