Behind all of the glitz and glamour of last night’s Academy Awards was, well, more glitz and more glamour. Framing the stage of the show at the Kodak Theatre was a magnificent curtain made from 92,000 Swarovski crystals. Interested in learning more about how the curtain came together, I did some research and here is what I learned:
The curtain was assembled entirely by hand in Smithfield, Rhode Island by the staff of Orion, a company that specializes in retail exhibits and displays. Orion assembled the last Swarovski crystal curtain, seen at the Oscars two years prior, which contained only 50,000 crystals. this year, Swarovski shipped the crystals from Austria to Orion, where workers spent an entire month and over 400 hours assembling the curtain entirely by hand. Each strand of the curtain contained 6,000 crystals.
Once assembled, the curtain, along with the rest of the Kodak Theatre stage, was put in the hands of David Rockwell. Rockwell, an acclaimed architect and designer, crafted the set, which he imagined as the space for an elegant party. In addition to designing the crystal curtain, Rockwell chose the 25 LED screens, some of which moved and reconfigured throughout the presentations and performances, in place of the traditional single big screen. He also added a “thrust stage,” leaving only four steps between the stage and the first row of seats, allowing Hugh Jackman easy access to Frank Langella’s lap.