As if traffic in and around West Hollywood isn’t bad enough, preparations for the 83rd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre will mean extended street closures beginning this weekend and lasting until March 1. Hollywood residents making their way into the neighborhood may want to avoid the area around the Kodak Theatre.
The major closures begin on Sunday night when Hollywood Boulevard is closed between Orange Drive and Highland Avenue from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Monday. That span of Hollywood Boulevard will reopen briefly on Monday, but then close again that night and remain closed until 6 a.m. on March 1.
“We close down Hollywood Boulevard so early because we have 500 feet of red carpet to lay down,” said Teni Melidonian, a publicist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “We also have fan bleachers to install, media risers to put up and an entire press area to put together. We start the setup process immediately once the street is closed.”
In fact, by Friday afternoon bleachers were already being set up on Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Hollywood & Highland Center.
The Academy Awards are an international star-studded event and Hollywood’s biggest night of the year. Along with celebrities and moviemakers, thousands of members of the media descend upon the Kodak Theatre for the red carpet, the ceremony and the after-parties.
As the day of the Academy Awards approaches, several other streets and alleyways near the Kodak Theatre will be closed.
At 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Hawthorn Avenue will be closed from Orange Drive to Highland Avenue and remain closed until 6 a.m. on Feb. 28.
Even more streets will be closed from 6 a.m. Feb. 26 and will reopen at 6 a.m. on Feb. 28, including Orchid Street from 60 feet south of Franklin Boulevard to Orchid Alley and Orange Drive from Orchid Alley to Hollywood Boulevard.
Starting 10 p.m. Feb. 26, Johnny Grant Way from Highland Avenue to Orchid Street will be closed.
On the day of the Academy Awards, it would be best to avoid driving anywhere near the Hollywood & Highland Center complex because the number of street closures will be extensive and many sidewalks will be closed as well.
In addition to the earlier closures, on Feb. 27, Hawthorn Avenue will be closed from Orange Drive to Highland Avenue. Orange Drive will close from Hawthorn Avenue to Hollywood Boulevard. Access to the areas immediately adjacent to the Kodak Theater will also be limited.
Both the northbound and southbound Highway 101 off-ramps at Highland Avenue will be closed. If you are planning to take the Metro Red Line into Hollywood, be aware that the Hollywood and Highland station will be closed all day on Sunday and trains will not be stopping at the station. The Hollywood and Vine station will be open.
For a complete list of closures, visit the Academy’s website.