When it was built by the Shriners back in 1906 (and rebuilt in 1920 after a fire) the world-famous Shrine Auditorium was the largest indoor auditorium in the world, with almost 6,500 seats. It is still the largest such theatre in America, and that sheer size is what has made the Shrine the preferred venue for Hollywood's most important awards shows.
The Academy Awards show was first presented at the Shrine back in 1947.
Over the years the Shrine has also hosted a variety of other dazzling award shows, including the Grammy Awards, the MTV Music Awards, the American Music Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Soul Train Music Awards, the American Comedy Awards, and others.
From the outside, the Shrine Auditorium resembles an exotic Arabian mosque from ages past, or some west coast Taj Mahal, replete with white Persian domes and Moorish arches. Inside, it is a lush, old-fashioned opera house, with red velvet seats and tiered balconies overlooking its cavernous interior.
The auditorium's unusual architecture (inside and out) has made it a favorite movie location. The Shrine has been seen in the original "King Kong" (1933, with Fay Wray), the 1954 version of "A Star is Born" (starring Judy Garland), "The Turning Point" (1977, starring Shirley MacLaine and Anne Bancroft), the 1988 comedy "Foul Play" (with Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase), "The Doors" (1992, starring Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison), and many others.
The concluding scenes of the 1994 slapstick comedy "Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult," had a bumbling Leslie Nielsen foiling an assassination attempt during an Academy Awards ceremony. The sequence included exterior shots of the stars arriving at that Shrine.