Kodak wants its name removed from Oscars venue
By Sue Zeidler
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eastman Kodak eased away from the Hollywood spotlight on Wednesday, asking to have its name removed from the theater that hosts the Oscars.
The once dominant photography company has asked a U.S. bankruptcy court to void an estimated $4 million-a-year contract and remove its name on the famous Kodak Theatre in central Hollywood as Kodak tries to preserve cash and restructure operations.
Kodak said in court documents it was filing a motion to reject the contract and that the theatre should take all steps necessary to remove Kodak's naming rights and the signage associated with it.
It was not immediately clear if Kodak's name will appear on the building during this month's upcoming Academy Awards on February 26, but a source familiar with the matter said several companies have approached building owner CIM Group about naming rights.
About 10 years ago, Kodak agreed to pay $74 million to CIM to see its name for some 20 years on the facade of the 3,400-plus seat theater.
A spokesperson for CIM was not immediately available to comment.
"Kodak is proud of its important role in the entertainment industry and our long-standing relationship with film makers," the company said. "Our motion today reflects our commitment to ensure that we are maximizing value for our entertainment customers, creditors and other stakeholders."
Branding experts say the value of any naming rights should rise. Continued...