The first annual presentation of the Hall of Fame award took place September 13, 2003, at the Artemus Ham Concert Hall with President Carol C. Harter, Dean Jeffrey Koep, Mrs. Corinne Sidney, and numerous Hollywood celebrities who have known and admired George Sidney. After the gala celebration was the grand opening of the George Sidney Photo Collection in the Donna Beam Art Gallery on the campus of UNLV. This private collection includes more than 500,000 never-before-seen candid photos of legends from the Golden Age of Hollywood. More than 100 of these rare photos were on display in the Donna Beam Gallery of Fine Art.
The first inductee to the Hall of Fame epitomizes the term "professional." Three-time Academy Award-winning director George Sidney was a giant in the "Golden Age" of the motion picture industry. He nurtured the early careers of actors who have become Hollywood legends: Tony Curtis, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Howard Keel, Ann-Margret, Lana Turner, Esther Willliams, Cyd Charise, Kathryn Grayson, Ann Miller, Angela Landsbury, Dean Martin, and Ava Gardner. George Sidney was a frequent guest lecturer in UNLV film classes, providing our students with priceless insights about working in the industry.