16th Academy Awards

The 16th Academy Awards, in 1944, was the first Oscar ceremony held at a large public venue, Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

Free passes were given out to men and women in uniform. The more theatrical approach makes it a forerunner of the contemporary Oscar telecast.

For the first time, supporting actors and actresses took home full-size statuettes, instead of smaller-sized awards mounted on a plaque.

The 1943 Academy Award Winners

Picture: Casablanca
Actor: Paul Lukas (Watch on the Rhine)
Actress: Jennifer Jones (The Song of Bernadette)
Supporting Actor: Charles Coburn (The More the Merrier)
Supporting Actress: Katina Paxinou (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
Director: Michael Curtiz (Casablanca)
Adapted Screenplay: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, and Howard Koch (Casablanca)
Original Screenplay: Noran Krasna (Princess O'Rourke) / William Saroyan (The Human Comedy)
Song: "You'll Never Know" (Hello, Frisco, Hello)
Score: The Song of Bernadette (Dramatic or Comedy) / This Is the Army (Musical)
Cinematography: The Song of Bernadette (Black and White) / The Phanton of the Opera (Color)
Interior Decoration: The Song of Bernadette (Black and White) / The Phanton of the Opera (Color)
Film Editing: Air Force
Sound: This Land is Mine
Special Effects: Crash Dive
Short Films: Yankee Doodle Mouse (Cartoons) / Amphibious Fighters (One-Reel) / Heavenly Music (Two-Reel)
Documentaries: December 7th (Short) / Desert Victory (Feature)

Due to the war shortages, it seemed inappropriate to continue holding banquet ceremonies. Therefore, the Awards ceremonies were permanently switched to theater settings starting this year. The sixteenth Academy Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, March 2, 1944 at Grauman's Chinese Theater. Also for the first time, winners for the best supporting actors and actresses categories won Oscars rather than plaques. Because of the war, the statuettes were made out of plaster rather than bronze. Jack Benny hosted a radio broadcast for soldiers overseas.