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April 3, 2021

Amazing Photos of the 1st Academy Awards Ceremony in 1929

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 1927 and 1928 and took place on May 16, 1929, at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California. AMPAS president Douglas Fairbanks hosted the show. Tickets cost $5 (which would be $74 in 2019, considering inflation), 270 people attended the event and the presentation ceremony lasted 15 minutes.

Awards were created by Louis B. Mayer, founder of Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation (at present merged into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). It is the only Academy Awards ceremony not to be broadcast either on radio or television. The radio broadcast was introduced during the 2nd Academy Awards.

During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards – now colloquially known as the Oscars – in 12 categories. Winners were announced three months before the live event. Some nominations were announced without reference to a specific film.

These amazing photos captured wonderful moments of the 1st Academy Awards ceremony in 1929.

The 1st Academy Awards banquet, on May 16, 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

The 1st Academy Awards banquet, 1929

Best Director Dramatic Picture Frank Borzage poses with his award for “7th Heaven” in 1929

Blossom Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles

Douglas Fairbanks, who hosted the ceremony, presents Joseph Farnham with his award in 1929

German actor Emil Jannings won Best Actor for won BEST ACTOR for "The Last Command" and "Way of All Flesh"

Janet Gaynor with her award for her performances in "7th Heaven," "Street Angel," and "Sunrise" in 1929

Lewis Milestone and his award of Best Director for a Comedy Picture for his 1927 film, "Two Arabian Knights" in 1929

The winners of the first ceremony, including Janet Gaynor for best actress, were announced a few months in advance. Douglas Fairbanks, president of the academy, handed out the honors

Vice president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, Conrad Nigel, presents the Oscar to actress Norma Shearer, 1929

Vice president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, Conrad Nigel, presents the Oscar to actress Norma Shearer, 1929

William C Demille, President Of The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences hands an Oscar to Mary Pickford (with Warner Baxter and Hans Kraly looking on) at the first ceremony in 1929

The 1st Academy Awards, May 16, 1929

The 1st Academy Awards Program

The 1st Academy Awards Guests of Honor




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