NEWS UPDATE (9:15 a.m. PT) – The MTV Movie Awards will go on tonight despite being located at Universal Studios where firemen have battled a blaze since pre-dawn hours.
"The areas we are utilizing for our production were unaffected and the 2008 MTV Movie Awards will go on as planned," says a MTV spokesperson tells TheEnvelope.com. "We’re working closely with authorities to make sure everything operates smoothly."
ORIGINAL REPORT: As of 8:30 a.m. Pacific time, a raging fire has engulfed at least one of the soundstages at Universal Studios. Just how far these flames are from the Gibson Amphitheatre, home of tonight's MTV Movie Awards, is still to be determined. Early today when the fire broke out around 4:45 a.m., it was believed to be limited to the lower backlot, which is a safe distance from the hilltop area where the Gibson is located near Universal's CityWalk. Also in the upper area is Universal's theme park, which plans to open today. That suggests that the MTV Movie Awards may proceed, too, but TheEnvelope.com has not yet received an official status report from MTV or Universal.
While the kudofest, hosted by Mike Myers, is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Pacific time, the red carpet is rolled out at 3 p.m. Will the show still go on? Stay tuned.
Also unclear at this time is the status of films at risk in the Universal vault, which is located close to the blaze.
Universal has produced many Oscar-winning films, including best picture champs "The Sting" (1973) and "A Beautiful Mind" (2001) plus best-pic nominees "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962), "The Color Purple" (1985) and "Apollo 13" (1995). Since those were all made in recent decades, it's likely that there are quality prints that will survive if flames devour what's in the vault. What is unsure is how widespread quality prints are of the studio's early films like best-picture champ "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1930).
For a rundown of past fires at Universal Studios, CLICK HERE.