Oscars: Hollywood Builds Walls to Keep Celebrities Safe During Academy Awards

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times; ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images/AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC I
Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times; ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images/AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

The Oscars are upon us and you know what that means: Walls. That’s right. Ten-foot high walls and countless barriers and barricades will surround the Dolby Theatre to shield Hollywood’s biggest stars on its biggest night from would-be gawkers.

Sure, Hollywood celebrities don’t dare endorse building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico but when it comes to their palatial estates (I’m looking at you Mr. Spielberg) or awards night, they’re more pro-wall than Donald Trump.

The famous Hollywood Blvd. came to a standstill this weekend when the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) erected, fences, barriers, and walls in preparation for the big show wherein celebrities and industry insiders will celebrate a year in movies. The barrier spanned at least one block on Hollywood Blvd between Highland Ave. and North Orange Dr. across the street from the El Capitan Theater. Armed security equipped were also present.

The Oscars Red Carpet ceremony (it will be champagne colored this year) does offer some seating to the public in the bleacher seats.

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) described the intense security measures often taken to protect people attending the show in 2019.

“We will deploy enough officers to ensure the safety of all the citizens and Oscar attendees. We hope for the best and are prepared for the worst,” an LAPD spokesperson told THR.

When it comes to divulging plans to protect Oscar-goers, the Los Angeles Police Department plays it close to the vest — or perhaps more literally its flack jacket. Suffice it to say, a huge chunk of the department’s 10,072 sworn officers will be on hand Sunday to enforce their largely secretive security measures.

For onlookers planning to hang out outside the venue, LAPD officer Norma Eisenman suggests they use public transportation, Uber or Lyft as street closures and parking will make it a nightmare for travelers on Sunday. But taking the MTA subway train will require some walking, as the Hollywood & Highland station will be shut down Saturday and Sunday to make room for Oscar.

Already, Hollywood Boulevard is closed between Highland Avenue and Orange Drive, and several smaller streets will be blocked over the weekend, as will the sidewalks nearest to the theater.

In 2019, at those very same Oscars, actor Javier Bardem trashed former President Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico.

“There are no borders or walls that can restrain ingenuity and talent,” Bardem said in Spanish before giving out the award for Best Foreign Language Film.


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