Academy Award History, Part Two: 1927-1929

Academy Award History, Part Two: 1927-1929

Mary Pickford, 1916
Mary Pickford, 1916

Just what is “The Academy”? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded on May 4, 1927. Prior to the Academy, the various branches of the motion picture industry had their own individual guilds and unions (as they still do) but no collective organization where they could all meet and discuss issues in the industry. As actress Mary Pickford put it, the Academy “is our open forum where all branches can meet and discuss constructive solutions to problems with which each is confronted…The producer, star, featured player, cinematographer—in fact, every individual can come into the Academy with any problem or proposal and feel that all barriers are leveled, that in this open court his voice carries the same weight as that of any other person, regardless of position and standing.” The first meeting and banquet was held one week later on May 11. 300 guests attended and 230 joined the Academy for a fee of $100, or a little more than $1300 by today’s standards. Read more

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