90 Years: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
It was a busy month. Official articles of incorporation were filed May 4th, Douglas Fairbanks was named president May 6th, and the first volume of the Academy's 'newsletter' printed in November 1927 says, "The Academy was formed May 10, 1927". While the exact starting day in May maybe be a bit fluid, currently the Academy itself considers May 11th to be their anniversary as it coincides with the first organizational dinner banquet.
That first banquet was held at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. At that meeting their first roster, composed of 230 members, was printed. The Academy also bestowed its first honorary membership, to Thomas Edison. The original five Academy branches were: Producers, Actors, Directors, Writers and Technicians.
"Our purpose is positive - not negative.
We were formed to do, not undo."
- Douglas Fairbanks
Academy President (1927-1929)
The goal of the newly established Academy was to promote harmony between the different branches of the film industry. The original 36 founders were mainly concerned with the reputation of their still somewhat new industry and defending the rights of workers. Over the years the Academy has downplayed issues of labor and have become know more for their 'awards of merit'.
Today, membership in the Academy is by invitation only. There are 17 branches with approximately 6,000 members. Officially the Academy resides at three locations - Academy Headquarters Building, Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, and Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study. A new addition, The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, is currently under construction.
'90 Years' blog entries will feature historical happenings and news that surrounded the Long family at the beginning of our Cadillac dealership in 1927