It Takes an Insane Amount of Work to Get the Dolby Theatre Oscar-Ready

By Gerald Lynch on at

The Dolby Theatre has played host to the annual Academy Awards ceremony since 2002. It's a mammoth event, with the venue seating 3,400. Which makes it all the more incredible that workers have just three days to get the place ready for its night under the spotlight.

At 180,000 square feet, with an 86-foot ceiling, the theatre's main auditorium is seven times the size of your average IMAX screen, and is packed out with equipment necessary not only for movie screenings, but also the many concert and dramatic productions the venue plays host to.

So, each year ahead of the Oscars ceremony, the theatre is stripped of a 60-foot by 32-foot screen, the screen's intricate rigging system (made up of 192 feet of screen trusses, 90 feet of curtain trusses and 24 curtain poles), 58 screen speakers, 30 rigging motors, eight huge subwoofers, numerous power amps, 68 Dolby Atmos surround speakers, stage steps, and more wiring than you could shake a warehouse full of cable ties at. This is all packed up and split between both a nearby warehouse (on the back of a 45-foot trailer) or a custom-built cage in the theatre's parking lot. That's all done before you even begin to consider the elaborate staging that's brought in and set up each year.

And all this has to be carried out by just twenty guys, in 72 hours, so that red-carpet celebrities can take selfies in the front row. Showbiz, eh? [Dolby]