During a dinner at his home, M-G-M studio chief Louis B. Mayer and his guests talked about creating an organized group to benefit the film industry. A week later, 36 invitees from all the creative branches of the film industry dined at Los Angeles's Ambassador Hotel to hear a proposal to found the International Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Articles of incorporation were soon presented and officers were elected with Douglas Fairbanks as president.
Awards of Merit
One of the first Academy committees was the Awards of Merit. The seven-person committee suggested to the Board that awards be presented in 12 categories. The Academy published its first book in 1928 - Report on Incandescent Illumination, based on a series of Academy-sponsored seminars attended by 150 cinematographers. A second book, Recording Sound for Motion Pictures, was published in 1931, based on a lecture series on sound techniques.
The First Oscars
The first Academy Awards ceremony was a May 16 banquet at the Roosevelt Hotel's Blossom Room with 270 attendees. Recipients were announced three months earlier; the next year the Academy kept the results secret but gave an advance list to newspapers for publication at 11 p.m. This continued until 1940 when the Los Angeles Times published the winners in its evening edition - readily available to arriving guests. That prompted the sealed-envelope system in use today. By the second year, enthusiasm for the Awards was such that a Los Angeles radio station produced a live broadcast.