Drive-In Theater Screenings Now Count Toward Academy Award Eligibility

Drive-In Theater
The Academy Awards are digging into movie theater past to look toward the future. 

This year has been a wild ride for Hollywood. With theaters being closed and then partially open, we've seen fluctuating box office returns and the movement of many of the movies we'd usually consider "Oscar-worthy."

With the winter months coming and the awards season upon us, the Academy is loosening its requirements on qualifying for the Oscars for feature films. 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted that drive-in screenings will now count towards qualifying a film for the 93rd Oscars. For drive-in screenings, there will only be one screening per day required, as opposed to three for all others.

That's a huge deal. 

This move reflects the idea to allow films that had to nix their planned theatrical release to still be able to qualify if they first screened on a streaming or VOD platform...provided they then screened on the Academy Screening Room members-only streaming service within 60 days thereafter.

According to The Hollywood Reporterthe Academy has added this two-part addendum:

  1. Films which are intended for theatrical release, but are initially made available through commercial streaming, VOD service or other broadcast may qualify by making the film available on the secure Academy Screening Room member site within 60 days of the film’s streaming/VOD release or broadcast.
  2. Films may qualify with a traditional theatrical release, completing a seven-day run in one of six qualifying cities (Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco/Bay Area, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta), screening at least three times daily, with at least one screening between 6 pm and 10 pm daily. Additionally, drive-in theaters in these cities will now qualify as a commercial venue, however, the screening requirement will be adjusted from three times daily to once daily. Films that have a theatrical release are not required to submit to the Academy Screening Room within 60 days — it is optional.

These are mostly temporary moves, but I would love to see the drive-in idea stick. I think it could be a great way to drum up business for years to come. 

As of right now, the 93rd Oscars will take place on April 25, 2021.

But you never know as this year proceeds.      

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Floodgates. This is something to aim for!

October 9, 2020 at 12:16PM

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Adam R. Taylor
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