August 7, 2009 / 1:03 AM / 8 years ago

Spirit Awards ditching afternoon ceremony on beach

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - An annual Oscar weekend tradition has been broken, with the Spirit Awards shifting from their coveted Saturday afternoon slot the day before the biggest night in Hollywood.

<p>English actor Steve Coogan hosts the show at the 24th annual Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California February 21, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>

Film Independent, which runs the arthouse-oriented ceremony, said next year’s show will take place on Friday, March 5, at 8 p.m., two days before the Academy Awards.

The group did not offer a reason for the move of what is the ceremony’s 25th year; executive director Dawn Hudson said only that “in planning this year’s significant anniversary, we decided to venture away from our beloved day at the beach to a Friday evening where we hope an even broader audience discovers us as we kick-off the awards weekend.”

While officials said details on a new location would be forthcoming, it’s unlikely that at that post-dusk hour the show would continue to be held at a beachside location.

The Spirits for a number of years have been held under a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. Stars and industry executives would bask in the relaxed, booze-laden atmosphere before heading off to other Oscar weekend obligations in the evening.

The televised broadcast will continue to air live and uncut on IFC -- though, with the new time slot, that means an unusually late 11 p.m. start for East Coast viewers.

Editing by DGoodman at Reuters

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