Los Angeles

Oscars will be broadcast from multiple locations

Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre has been the home of the Oscars since 2001 and the organizers say the upcoming show will keep that tradition, but they will enlist a supporting cast of venues.

An academy spokesperson said Wednesday that the ceremony will broadcast live from multiple locations on April 25. The announcement comes as many cities that are important film hubs, including Los Angeles, New York and London, remain under strict coronavirus restrictions.

Specific plans have yet to be unveiled for the show, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is “determined to present an Oscars like none other, while prioritizing the public health and safety of all those who will participate,” the spokesperson said.

The Golden Globes, which has also been scarce on specific details, is planning its own bicoastal broadcast for Feb. 28.

The Oscars were pushed back two months because of the pandemic. Director Steven Soderbergh, “Erin Brokovich” producer Stacey Sher and awards show veteran Jesse Collins are producing the telecast. It’s unclear whether or not they will have a host.

Last year’s show had the smallest audience ever of 23.6 million viewers, down 20% from the year prior.

LINDSEY BAHR, AP Film Writer

CHICAGO

United: Small electric air taxis will zip people to airports

United Airlines said Wednesday it will buy up to 200 small electric air taxis to help customers in urban areas get to the airport.

The airline said it will help electric-aircraft startup Archer develop an aircraft capable of helicopter-style, vertical takeoffs and landings. Archer hopes to deliver its first aircraft in 2024, if it wins certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

United said once the aircraft are flying, it and partner Mesa Airlines will acquire up to 200 that would be operated by another company.

According to an Archer presentation to investors, the orders are worth $1 billion with an option for $500 million more.

Privately held Archer, which is based in Palo Alto, California, announced separately that it has agreed to merge with Atlas Crest Investment Corp. and form a new publicly traded company. Archer and Atlas put a $3.8 billion value on the deal, which sent Atlas shares up 22%.

Archer’s aircraft are designed to fly under battery power for up to 60 miles at speeds of up to 150 mph.

The company plans to launch service in congested areas close to airports. United estimated the air taxis could shuttle people from Hollywood to Los Angeles International Airport at about half the carbon emissions per passenger.

Cowen analyst Helane Becker said United could use Archer’s aircraft could operate between New York City and United’s hub operation at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey, or from downtown Chicago to O’Hare Airport, allowing airline customers to avoid traffic.

Chicago-based United portrayed the move as part of a broader plan to invest in technology behind cleaner modes of air travel. CEO Scott Kirby said Archer’s design “has the clear potential to change how people commute within major metropolitan cities all over the world.”

Aviation is a small contributor to greenhouse gases that cause climate change, but its share of the problem is growing rapidly. Many airlines including United have made investments in biofuel, but limited supplies are likely to hinder wider use of such alternatives to jet fuel for many years.

In December, United pledged to offset all its carbon emissions by 2050 in part by investing in technology to remove carbon from the air and bury it.

Associated Press