Inspired by the visual energy and showmanship of a Busby Berkley production, the Rockwell Group design for the Academy Theater creates a space worthy of the spectacle of the Academy Awards itself, where the drama is as much centered on the audience as on the stage. Fronted by a “staging area,” where a massive sculptural “curtain” of crushed glass and crystal is parted to one side to allow entrance, the theater features balconies with surfaces of cast-glass, and a swirling silver-leaf lattice on the ceiling. The theater must not only be a spectacle onto itself, however, it must meet the functional needs of broadcasting the awards ceremony. A “media cockpit,” placed on a lift in the center of the orchestra seating, becomes the technical heart of the production, a housing for television cameras and other equipment. Seating is flexible, allowing 2000 guests for live performances and up to 3300 on Academy Award night.