Back in 1929 times were much simpler. The first academy awards were held in a banquet room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, tickets were 5$ and about 270 people attended, oh and the ceremony was 15 minutes long. Thanks Wikipedia!
These days the ceremony is held at the Dolby Theatre, seating 3,334 people while tickets go for unimaginable prices or a limb and they last 3 -1/2 hours.
Although year to year it is exciting to see what the host will bring to the table and who's wearing what and of course who will trip but I was always keeping an eye out for that stage! Always wondering which arch ways and back lit boxes or oversized Oscar statuette celebrities will enter from to present awards. Or how it will all change and light up for someone to perform and where the host will come out from next to spew some hilarious quip.
This year the production design was done by Derek McLane. An accomplished set designer for Tony award winning plays and other award shows he also designed the stage for the 85th Academy Awards. His style was simple and not too flashy but impactful at the same time, making the performances the focal point.
It would be a dream of mine to someday design the stage for the most important night in film, but it is also a dream, or more of a goal to get my own statue for production design on a movie. Fingers crossed.