For the first time, Oscar fans in Chicago will be able to hold an actual Oscar statuette and have their photo taken at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' "Meet the Oscars, Chicago." The exhibition will open Friday, February 13, at The Shops at North Bridge on Michigan Avenue, and run through Sunday, February 22, the night of the 81st Academy Awards presentation. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. Chicago is the only city to host a "Meet the Oscars" exhibition this year.
"Meet the Oscars, Chicago" features a display of Oscars in various stages of completion, as they undergo their intricate, weeks-long manufacturing process. Chicago's R.S. Owens & Company has manufactured the statuettes each year since 1982. Six of the Oscars on display will be presented at next year's Academy Awards ceremony.
Also on display will be the historic statuette that actor Clark Gable won for his performance in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934). In 1996 an anonymous buyer purchased this Oscar at auction for $607,500. Later that year, the Oscar was returned to the Academy, and the buyer was revealed to be Steven Spielberg.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.