Coronavirus: 2021 Oscars set for April in-person telecast, Academy says

7 Award Winning Facts About the Oscars

LOS ANGELES — There will be nothing virtual about the 2021 Academy Awards.

The Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences confirmed to Variety on Tuesday that “the Oscars in-person telecast will happen.”

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The novel coronavirus pandemic has already forced the postponement of the 2021 awards from February to April 25, and academy sources told the publication that the two-month delay could allow more theaters to be open to foot traffic in the spring, allowing for a broader slate of Oscar contenders.

Virus-related uncertainties make it difficult, though, to pinpoint how many people will be allowed inside the 3,400-seat Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles or what safety protocols will be enacted for the ceremony, Variety reported.

“The Academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options,” an awards publicist told the publication.

According to Entertainment Tonight, the Academy extended the eligibility timeline from Dec. 31, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021. And for the first time, it will allow films that premiered on streaming platforms or drive-in formats to qualify for consideration.

Click here to see a full guide, compiled by ET, to navigate awards season and find out how other major film awards shows affected by the pandemic – including the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the British Academy Film Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards – are tweaking plans for an uncertain 2021 season.

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In this Feb. 4, 2019 file photo, an Oscar statue appears at the 91st Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif.
In this Feb. 4, 2019 file photo, an Oscar statue appears at the 91st Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File)