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Do Celebrities Get Assigned Seats at the Oscars?



The 91st Academy Awards is almost here. Celeb presenters have been decided, and nominees have gone public. Now that the ball is rolling, moviegoers are anxious to find out who's going to be walking away with a shiny gold Oscar. While the audience is always full of A-list celebs along with crew members, there are tons of seats to fill the venue. So much so that the Oscars even have seat-fillers to ensure a packed house for every camera angle.

A full house is not the only thing producers have to worry about for The Academy Awards. They also have a lot of energy in perfecting the seating arrangement.

Meet Otto Spoerri

Otto Spoerri for 23 years controlled where people will sit during the Academy Awards. Spoerri has just retired and plans a trip across the Atlantic. | Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Who is Otto Spoerri and what does he have to do with The Academy Awards seating arrangement? Spoerri was born in 1933, just five years after the Academy Awards, the very first show on May 16, 1929. Spoerri pursued accounting in his later years and found himself working in a temporary position for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Through a string of events, the accountant ended up with a job that made him one of the most powerful people in Hollywood

What was the position that made the mere accountant into a revered man? He actually inherited two vital roles for the infamous award show: the ticket distributor and seating arrangement mastermind. Spoerri's began his work in 1978, but he did not start handling the seats until 1980. The Swiss-born accountant held the position until 2002.

The crucial roles are now handled by the director of the membership department. Despite the shift in leadership, many of Spoerri's rules have remained intact until this day. After all, "If it's not broke, do not fix it."

What's the seating arrangement rules

Spoerri did a lot of heavy lifting during his nearly a quarter of a century career as The Academy Awards "controller." Through trial and error, he came up with some traditional rules. At any time, the Academy may decide to bend or break these but, for the most part, they stick to Spoer's tried and true methodology.

  • The biggest and the worst stars will be the first few rows. avoid the viewers to watch the winners celebrate while losers sulk, those who compete in the same category are not too close together.
  • Any ex-friends, ex-lovers, ex-spouses and other problematic individuals are not around anywhere else. (19659011)
  • There are a good 700 seats available along the 500-foot walkway that are filled randomly. are aware of where their clients will be seated and who will be in their proximity. This way, if there is a problem, they can contact The Academy to request a seating change. Generally, they are extremely accommodating as they understand how to put people at odds next to each other could quickly ruin the night.

    What is happening when sitting arrangements are not perfect

    Oscar statue | ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

    Things can go completely nuclear if the seating arrangement is not on point. Think about all of the drama that takes place in Tinseltown all the year! Some feuds have been going on forever so the Academy knows to avoid those pairings. Others pop up just weeks before show time! It's imperative that The Academy keeps up with the personal connections between Hollywood's greatest all year round. Could you imagine what would have happened if silver screen starlets Joan Crawford and Bette Davis were back in the day


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