Drenched in glitter and glamour, honoring excellence in filmmaking, the Oscars Awards ceremony is a distant dream for commoners like me and you. However, it’s not easy for even the A-listers to get an Oscar Invitation. It’s common at such a big event to witness even Oscar-nominated stars struggle to get more than the standard two-ticket allotment so their friends and loved ones can see their possible moment of Oscar glory.

If such iconic figures of the cinematic industry have to go through so much hassle for the awards season’s biggest, it’s an unrealistic hope for mortal vessels like us. However, USA Today managed to get some insights on the event from two Oscars experts: Michael Schulman, New Yorker writer and author of “Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears,” and Dave Karger, TCM host and author of “50 Oscar Nights: Iconic Stars & Filmmakers on Their Career-Defining Wins.”

The following questions are presented by USA Today.

Where is the 2024 Academy Awards held?

For the past two decades, the Academy Awards have been held at the Dolby Theatre in the heart of Hollywood. Initially, the locations were far smaller and ranged from hotels to nightclubs.

As usual, the prized front-row seating at the Dolby will be taken by the A-list stars. The seating arrangements have been made wisely, as those most likely to win awards need to be able to make it to the stage without delay. However, the management at the Oscars is well-updated with those seated on the balconies. Schulman says, “Each floor has its own bar and popcorn station, and there’s lots of milling around.” 

Who gets the Oscar invitations in 2024?

The capacity of the multitiered Dolby Theatre is 3,300, and “half of those people will be connected in some way to nominees or presenters, and the other half are Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members,” of which there are more than 10,000, says Schulman.

Apart from the nominated contenders, Oscar invitations also extend to members of the media as well as the all-important seat fillers, who take the seats of stars as they get up to accept their Oscars. Those positions go to people with Academy connections. Unless you are invited by someone with tickets or have connections to the movie industry, attending is unlikely. Karger remarks, “One thing is trying to apply for a lottery to get tickets to the red carpet, which does feature fans. But those folks aren’t going into the theater.”

Do stars get lots of tickets to the 2024 Academy Awards?

The answer is clear no. A nominee or presenter at the Oscars gets two tickets. However, Studios have slightly favored here as they get more tickets if their movie has been nominated for best picture.

Did the Oscars ever invite regular people to the awards show?

Schulman shared that when the Oscars commenced in 1929, the banquet hall was so small that only movie stars who had a chance of winning were in attendance. But in 1936, amid a boycott by the Screen Actors Guild, cancellations for the Oscars meant that tickets “were distributed among secretaries” at the studios.

In 1944, another instance of populism occurred as a gesture of respect to the military amid World War II. The Oscars included “the public and some service members at the awards, so they didn’t look callous or out of touch,” he says.

What’s the big deal about seeing the Oscars in person?

Schulman informed that it can be a long night at the theater as the ceremony usually lasts longer than three hours with all the commercial intervals. But it’s worth the slog, particularly if something bafflingly wild happens. 

Recounting the infamous slap incident, Schulman says, “I was there when the slap happened (when Will Smith hit presenter Chris Rock), and the atmosphere instantly became charged and electric in the theater.” He further adds, “As soon as the show’s over, it all gets taken down, and you see it’s all smoke and mirrors, classic Hollywood.”

Is there anything tougher to get into than the 2024 Oscars?

Schulman blatantly answered the question by saying, “As hard as it is to get into the Oscars, it’s much, much harder to get into the Vanity Fair party at the Oscars. You pretty much have to show up after the ceremony with an Oscar in your hand. Otherwise, it’s, ‘Better luck next time.’”

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