The theatre was designed by David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group, and Theatre Projects Consultants specifically with the Oscars in mind. It has a seating capacity for up to 3,401 people. The stage is one of the largest in the United States, roughly tied with the Elliot Hall of Music at Purdue University, measuring 113 feet (34 m) wide by 60 feet (18 m) deep. The theatre was sponsored by the Eastman Kodak company, which paid $75 million to have its name associated with the building. It is owned by CIM Group.
The theatre is particularly successful as a venue for a televised theatre performance (improving production values and economies in American Idol and the Academy Awards) through the planning and technical design. The architect and advisers undertook extensive consultation with many of the leading production personnel in Hollywood which led to highly functional production cable infrastructure systems including an underground cable bunker which passes below the theatre to truck locations in adjacent streets, accessible and substantial power, and a unique camera, sound and stage management cockpit designed by Rockwell in the orchestra seating area.
The Grand Staircase entrance columns hall to the Kodak Theatre is flanked by columns displaying the names of winners of the Academy Awards for Best Picture since 1927-1928, with blank spaces left for future Best Picture winners well into the 21st century. Still, a visitor during the rest of the year might have a hard time recognizing the landmark. In a fashion reminiscent of Hollywood's movie-making process, the building is "dressed" before the ceremony, including a different sign (though not always), drapery to hide all the storefronts, and the famous large red carpet.
The theatre is rented to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for weeks before the Oscar night. During the rest of the year, it hosts numerous live concerts, award shows, symphony performances and others. However, the 7,000 seat Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live has largely replaced the Kodak Theatre as the premier auditorium in L.A. since it opened in 2007, and some events formerly held at the Kodak are now regularly held at the Nokia, including the American Idol finals.
The Kodak Theatre is most commonly used for public cultural events such as concerts, shows, and performances. It is however used on occasion for private purposes such as weddings etc.
Artists who have appeared at the Kodak Theatre include Christina Aguilera, Céline Dion, the Dixie Chicks, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé Knowles, Elvis Costello, Vanilla Ice, Charice, Philipp Kirkorov, Barry Manilow, Prince, Ian Anderson, David Gilmour,Valy Hedjasi, Leila Forouhar, Andy Madadian, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Broadway musicals, dance shows, symphony performances and opera.
in 2003.]] Other events have included the AFI Life Achievement Award to Tom Hanks, the ESPY Awards for excellence in sports performance yearly, the BET Awards and American Idol finales. In April 2006, it was home to the 33rd Daytime Emmy Awards, and it hosted the 34th Daytime Emmy Awards on June 15, 2007.
Adán Chalino Sanchez made history on March 20, 2004 when he became the youngest headliner and first Regional-Mexican recording artist to practically sell out the world-famous Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. “I don’t think there are enough words to describe what I’m feeling at this time," Adán stated when the show was announced. "Getting to perform at this international venue is perhaps one of the biggest dreams ever and to date, the biggest challenge I’ve faced in my musical career." 
Some of the songs Adán performed were: “Necesito Un Amor” (I Need A Love), “Morenita” (Little Dark One), “Paloma Negra” (Black Dove), “Fui Tan Feliz” (I Was Very Happy), “Dicen” (They Say), and “Me Canse De Morir Por Tu Amor” (I Got Tired of Dying For Your Love). Adán also performed a medley of some of his father’s greatest hits, accompanied by images projected on large screens above the stage. “I am extremely pleased with the outcome,” he stated in his dressing room following the concert. "But more than anything, ecstatic with the number of fans that came out to support me. I dedicated this concert in my dad’s memory and to my wonderful people of Los Angeles. There aren’t enough words to thank my fans for their unconditional love and support."
7 days after his sold out concert Adan Chalino Sanches had a car accident and died at age 19.
In 2005, Nintendo launched its latest game console, the Wii, at the Kodak Theatre before E3 began. Nintendo used the venue again in 2006 for its pre-E3 news conference. The 2007 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show was also held at the Kodak Theatre for the first time, having been held in New York in previous years.
The theatre has also hosted the Miss USA pageant twice, in 2004 and 2007.
Nintendo once again borrowed the venue for their 2008 E3 Press Conference after holding their previous year's conference in Santa Monica.
In August 2009, the theatre hosted the So You Think You Can Dance finale for the first time.
Every year the theatre hosts the Armenian Music Awards.
On January 9, 2010 Japanese metal band X Japan made their first
U.S. Public appearance on top of the Theatre recording 4 music
videos. They recorded "Rusty Nail", "Jade", "Endless Rain", and