While the Academy Awards were celebrated in Hollywood Sunday night, a number of Rochesterians were also wearing gowns and tuxedos at the Kodak Center on Ridge Road.
The event was not only to celebrate film, but also raise money for a good cause.
This is the third year the Kodak Center, which used to be known as Theater on the Ridge, played host to a big Oscar party. The 400 or so people at the event got a chance to walk down a red carpet, look at some of Kodak’s winning Oscar statuettes from past years, and also contribute to a local organization. This year the beneficiary is the George Eastman Museum.
Dolores Kruchten is President for Eastman Business Park. She says Kodak, as it has in past years, has a strong connection to the Academy Awards.
“This is the birthplace of film and… this year there will be nine major movies that have been nominated for Oscars so it’s a perfect place to have an Oscar party.”
Bruce Barnes is Director for the George Eastman Museum and he echoes that sentiment about just how important a connection Kodak and Rochester have to the movies.
“Kodak has this incredible history in terms of winning Oscars, being nominated for Oscars, but most importantly the history of cinema is largely the history of Kodak film. And what Kodak was able to do in enabling directors to do more and more things.”
The George Eastman Museum depends mostly on private donors and foundation support and Sunday night’s event is expected to raise about $100,000 for the museum.
Film may no longer be a major part of Kodak's business, but the connection to Hollywood is strong, and a lot of movies are still shot on Kodak motion picture film made in Rochester.
Brad Kruchten is President for Kodak's Print Systems Division. He's glad the company has started a new tradition of holding these gala events.
“I think the community loves it because they want to take part in the Oscars so having the ability to have our own red carpet and be able to have everybody get dressed up and have a major event on the night when everybody in Hollywood is doing the same thing, makes it special.”
This year there were 9 Academy Award nominations tied to movies shot on Kodak film.