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The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood is pretty large and has a lot of seats that are filled each year at the Oscar ceremony.

But who gets invited and who determines where they sit?

Are there rules or guidelines laid down...and by who?

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It is usually decided by the academy.

Generally, there are some traditional rules followed by the academy, most of which were established by Otto Spoerri.

A few guidelines are (borrowed from Quora):

  1. The biggest stars sit in the first few rows.
  2. Those who are favored to win are seated on the aisle, so they don't have to climb over others to walk to the stage.
  3. Those competing in the same category are never seated near enough to one another so that they'll appear in the same camera shot.
  4. Ex-spouses, ex-lovers, and ex-friends are never placed anywhere near each other (this is a big one).
  5. And of course, the 700 seats available along the 500 foot walkway are chosen randomly.
  6. Only the individuals who have been pre-approved by the academy will have access to the bleachers.

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