Ahead of the 91st Academy Awards ceremony, organisers have reportedly heightened security at the Dolby Theatre to protect celebrities and event proceedings.
A police source at the Los Angeles Police Department told The Hollywood Reporter that today will be a “mid-to-max deployment day” similar to when a U.S. president is in town, a scenario which usually calls for some heavy weaponry and lots of overtime.
“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,” the LAPD spokesperson told the publication.
While the insider reveals that police presence will absolutely be heavy in and around the Dolby Theater at the Hollywood & Highland Center, it will pale in comparison to 2002, the first year following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
That year, snipers from various law enforcement agencies were visible on the rooftops of nearby buildings while metal detectors, bomb-sniffing dogs and other measures were taken as the FBI warned Hollywood that film studios were being targeted by Al Qaeda.
The FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department did not confirm whether they’ll have an official presence this year, though they operate under the “mutual aid” provision which means they’ll basically be on standby, should the LAPD need assistance.
Insiders claim that several celebrities will bring their own security personnel.
The publication reports that there are also ‘extensive measures’ in place to ensure that they don’t have another Moonlight / La La Land mix-up like at the 2017 ceremony.
Oscar ballots were cast by as many as 7,902 voting members entirely online for the first time this year and the deadline was at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
No official winners list has been written up to avoid it falling into the wrong hands. Instead, the three PwC representatives who guard each briefcase are tasked with memorising which movie title is supposed to win in each of the 24 categories.
The briefcases are kept in a secure location and will eventually be delivered to the venue via three black SUV’s with tinted windows, one vehicle per briefcase. Each SUV will contain a PwC handler, a driver and a private security guard.
Whether or not any fuck-ups occur this year, do keep your eyes peeled on the site as we’ll be reporting all the happenings as they go down.