It’s a common complaint that the Oscar ceremony, at upward of four hours from beginning to end, is too long. But for Norm Kinard, founder and president of Highland Parking & Transportation, they’re longer than you could possibly imagine. According to his personal estimates, the Oscars are at least a day and a half.
As the official limousine and valet coordinator for the Academy Awards, Kinard is the man responsible for getting everybody to the Oscars and then getting them out of the Dolby Theatre and back out across Los Angeles when it’s all over. It’s Kinard’s long, often arduous duty to whisk the guests to and from the red carpet — and with more than 750 cars pulling up over the course of the night, that can be a very time-consuming job.
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“My day usually starts on the Saturday prior to the Sunday of the show,” Kinard says. “Early Sunday morning, our staff starts arriving. Around 1 in the afternoon, the red carpet opens and then arrivals begin, and then the show starts.”
Of course, that’s only half the challenge. “After the show there are afterparties. When the guests are gone, the staff has to leave. I don’t wrap until 4 a.m. Monday morning. That’s when I can finally exhale.”
Kinard has been involved in transportation and the Oscars since 1993, when he was on hand at the ceremony as a valet. He soon worked his way up the ladder, and now he’s in charge of arranging traffic plans, coordinating with the city of Los Angeles, facilitating road closures and dealing with the Academy’s intensive security.
“This is what I do,” Kinard says, making it all sound like no big deal. “If everything works as it’s supposed to, we’ll get everyone in as safely and expeditiously as possible.”