History of the Red Carpet Concept

When you picture a “red carpet,” you likely picture celebrities in formal wear walking slowly and posing for pictures.

Although many homes also have red carpets, most people initially picture extravagant gowns, persistent paparazzi, and entertaining award shows.

With the Grammy Awards coming up, we started to wonder about the history of the red carpet and thought we’d do a little research to see what made the red carpet such a staple of the Hollywood scene.

The red carpet concept actually “premiered” first in a play called Agamemnon that was performed in ancient Greece. In the play, a dark red tapestry was laid out to welcome the king home a Trojan War hero by his wife. The king is hesitant to walk across the carpet because he is human and not a God.

Sonnet Stanfill, the senior curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, noted that “scarlet was among the most prized dyes as it was the most difficult to make and the most expensive.”

Over time, the scarlet colored red carpet became a desire of presidents, royalty, politicians, and of course, celebrities.

In the 1920’s, the red carpet started to appear in Hollywood. For the premiere of “Robin Hood” in 1922, a long red carpet was placed in front of the Egyptian Theatre by the request of Sid Grauman, a famous Hollywood showman.

In 1961, the Academy Awards received their first red carpet. However, people watching from home could not even see the red carpet due to the broadcast being black and white. Regardless, the red carpet became a staple of Hollywood events slowly but surely.

As of 1964, the red carpet started to appear during the Oscars along with many other large scale award shows.

Fashion became a focus of the red carpet, and quickly, fashion and film became a joint force.

The red carpet has become widely known in Hollywood for bold gowns, provocative dresses, and self-expression.

The red carpet used for the Oscars is over 16,500 square feet and requires two day installation.

Looking for your own red carpet to bring bold style into your home? Visit Carpet Closeouts for a wide selection of red carpets.