TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 25, 2013 at 10:11 am

AHA! HDTV has solved the mystery. Chinese is the 3rd WIDEST…but Lincoln Square, Meteron, Rave, Citywalk are all TALLER. Way, way TALLER! Trickery with numbers. :)

RogerA: As everyone knows, segements of some IMAX feature films were shot in 15/70 – most famously “The Dark Knight” & “The Dark Knight Rises.” “Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol” & most recently “Star Trek Into Darkness” are on the list. The upcoming “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” also has some IMAX camera shot sequences. So will Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” coming in 2014. But there has never been an entire film shot in 15/70 IMAX.

RogerA on September 25, 2013 at 6:52 am

Has there ever been a feature film shot in 15/70? Most of the IMAX films are blow ups anyway.

Robert_G_Kelley on September 25, 2013 at 12:38 am

*Metreon (got to love auto correct lol)

Robert_G_Kelley on September 25, 2013 at 12:37 am

Chris you are right there was an article a few months back where one of the IMAX execs said by the end of 2014 that 15/70 IMAX projection would be no more ANYWHERE. And there was another article stating that The Smithsonian will be converting from 15/70 film IMAX to Laser IMAX come Jan 2014. SO i would wager your predictions about Rave and Citywalk are correct.

Robert_G_Kelley on September 25, 2013 at 12:35 am

I just want to point out, everything I have read the theatre management and IMAX never claimed the screen was the biggest in the world. Pretty sure they have been saying seating capacity wise in pretty much all of the news releases and stories. And they have mentioned over and over (both the theatre and IMAX) that Lincoln square and The Meteron are bigger screens.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 24, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Mark: Technically, we won’t see the “full length of the screen being used” till the Lasers come next year. Till then, the screen will indeed be masked on the sides. Which probably explains why the blogger who went to the WOZ premiere stated that the screen was 61 feet wide.

Lastly – to put the IMAX/LieMax argument to bed, all signs point to them abandoning 15/70 projection and those 6 story tall screens. Don’t know how far they’ll go, but don’t be surprised if word gets out that Rave and Citywalk are “temporarily closed for remodeling” next year.

KramSacul on September 24, 2013 at 5:18 pm

I agree. It’s a visually impressive screen but not IMAX in shape or vertical height.

I was very impressed with The Hobbit trailer showing in 2.35:1. Just awesome to see the full length of the screen being used and the 3D was very clear and not dim like you see at Arclight. I hope they actually mask the top and bottom and not leave it empty when wide films play there.

Cliffs on September 24, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Chris, Thank you. That was the point I was trying to make about a month ago but was chided as attacking the Chinese. I didn’t see how you could fit a traditional IMAX screen (like those found at Rave, Citywalk or Lincoln Square) in the Chinese and the fact was they couldn’t. They installed most of the width but without the most of the height. It’s a fantastic IMAX for the future (probably the best), but it’s not a traditional 6 story 1.43:1 IMAX venue.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm

More articles about the renovation.

A site called THE DISSOLVE:

Curbed LA:

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm

OK…time for honesty. It’s not their BIGGEST screen. For some strange reason, IMAX is disowning their original 6 story tall screens. Every SoCal area member of this site knows Rave, Citywalk and Irvine Spectrum are bigger than Chinese. And our NYC area friends will cosign that Lincoln Square is bigger too.

moviebuff82 on September 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm

The most famous theater in the world now has the most famous imax theater in the world and the biggest screen.

RogerA on September 23, 2013 at 11:59 am

They used the curtain, nice.

RobertAlex on September 23, 2013 at 10:52 am

This seems to be paying of for the TCL Chinese. The theater had the highest grossing auditorium for the country this weekend!

“The Chinese gross for “Oz” marks the highest of any film this weekend for a single theater, though higher-priced Imax tickets certainly goosed grosses, as well as anticipation for the renovated theater, which now is the largest Imax theater in the world.”

RobertAlex on September 23, 2013 at 10:38 am

I also went this weekend, Sat 430, and I have to agree with most everything Chris mentioned above. It is absolutely beautiful. The Stadium seating is a bit steeper then I had thought, and the accessible aisle in the middle of the auditorium is right where the best seating should be……..but aside from that….Gorgeous. The picture itself was amazing. The 3D just worked and was not gimmicky at all. It still feels as if you are in a grand theater from days gone by.

The seats are not as wide as Arclight, but there is way more leg room and they recline a bit. There was about 600 or so people, with everyone applauding, booing the witch and clapping throughout the film’s run time. It was so special to see this many people in the auditorium…last time I have seen this many (aside from the TCM festivals) people here for a screening was when Titanic came out.

There was no masking for our showing either, but when the film ended, the curtains did close. It took a few minutes for them to shut, and when they did, people CLAPPED…clapping for curtains! I was in dork heaven.

RUN and see movie here. For the first time in forever I felt as if I got my moneys worth for a 3D showing.

RogerA on September 23, 2013 at 10:31 am

Chris, I agree that for $20 a seat the management shouldn’t be running ads but there could be some contractual thing where they must. It would be much nicer and give the place some class to go old school with the music and curtain but alas showmanship almost dead (still alive at the El Capitan). I want to thank all of you for the updates it saves me I trip into the city to check it out myself. I went to the “buy a ticket” site for the Chinese Theater and it requested credit card information before it let me select a seat. Yes it gives a chance to cancel if you don’t like the seat. I was just curious how well the site worked and didn’t buy a ticket. The Arclight site let’s you select a seat before entering the credit card info. Members might not have to do that step.

Cliffs on September 22, 2013 at 2:14 am

Will be interesting to see what happens when they drop the IMAX. Will Arclight pick up the standard release or will the Chinese hang on even without the IMAX. Also, Don’t forget Ender’s Game on 11/1. They’ll be hopping for the rest of the year. But it looks like they’ll be getting at least 1 or 2 tentpoles every month.

RogerA on September 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Well Chris glad to hear that there was enough of an audience to cheer.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 21, 2013 at 7:50 pm

With WOZ, Metalica & Gravity on the schedule, it looks like a given that ALL (non-Disney) IMAX will play here. They’re gonna clean house w/Hunger Games Catching Fire & The Hobbit this Thanksgiving/Christmas!

Darn shame about Disney, though. Star Wars Episode VII would be PERFECTION in here!

Cliffs on September 21, 2013 at 7:16 pm

70-80% on a Saturday afternoon is impressive. That gives me great hope.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm

1:30 PM show was about 70-80% full.

Forgot to mention: They did not mask in the sides for the screening. So we saw a 1:33 projection with white space to the left and to the right. The COOL thing, though: IMAX created a 1:33 sepia toned version of their countdown trailer. That was just GREAT!

Cliffs on September 21, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Chris, So happy to hear the renovation was such a success. How large was the crowd? My concern still is that people have been away from the Chinese for so long that they don’t know to come back.

RogerA… I misspoke. Meant the Cinemiracle upgrade. My mistake.

bigjoe59, Not to derail the Chinese conversation too much, but the 3D problems at the Dome are twofold. 1) The size of the Dome’s screen is just too big for their projectors to handle and 2) to correct this, they installed dual projectors to up the brightness, but the curve of the Dome’s screen meant that it was impossible to align them properly. 3D using the 2 projectors was bright enough, but the entire right and left thirds (yes, THIRDS!!!) of the image were misaligned and blurry. Location cards on the edges of frame (like in Transformers 3) would be impossible to read and things were just a mess unless they were dead center on screen. To finally fix this problem (after about a year of complaints and who knows how many terrible shows) they removed the second projector and produced a picture that was so dark, it was nearly unwatchable. I saw the “new and improved” 3D for Amazing Spider-man and I ended up watching ¾ of the movie with the glasses off because it was so dark. “ArcLight is more than a place to see a movie, it is an experience.” – Yes, and it’s more and more frequently been a BAD experience.

But the Chinese is back and ROCKS!!

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on September 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Chris, GREAT review! I’m so glad! I’m going on Monday and can’t wait!! There are some stunning photos on the LAHTF Facebook page if anyone wants to see how things are looking!

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 21, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Got home from the Emerald City about an hour ago…

First things first: my pictures STINK! I’ll retake them when I go to “Gravity.”


The upgrade is BREATHTAKING! Super comfortable seats, plenty of legroom between rows, top notch IMAX level sound & picture (won’t get a REAL sound test till “Gravity” as they didn’t do too much surround sound dancing with a 1939 movie).

THE SCREEN: NOWHERE CLOSE to “LieMax” status, but not the 6 story monsters we know and love…and it doesn’t need to be. As we’ve (ARGUED) discussed previously, 2:35 IMAX is projected dead center on the 6 story screens. If they actually masked the image on the top and bottom, you’d end up with the size of the new screen running at Chinese. And I have no complaints at all. Neither should anyone else. Just be happy that there are now 2 MASSIVE screens to choose from (AGAIN!) in Hollywood!


  1. The ushers still need to be trained on helping folks find their seats. I saw 3 separate incidents in my row where folks had the wrong seats. The 1st one got handled by the ushers…but the 2nd & 3rd patrons had to resolve themselves – and the 3rd one happened AS THE LIGHTS WERE DIMMING!

  2. So…I walk into this epic, renovated auditorium to be greeted by A FULLY OPEN IMAX SCREEN running some goofy preshow featuring Cheetos commercials and the $2.00 teen band of the week! UGH! A screen like this needs to be properly unveiled at the beginning of the attraction – old school style! In this joint and on this screen, a PRESHOW is a NO-NO!

THE MOVIE: Absolutely the best 3D upconversion ever seen. Not a single flaw in the picture. The darn movie looked like it was SHOT in 3D. Even 1930’s era Leo The Lion got the 3D treatment (I couldn’t stop grinning when I saw that – and the audience ERUPTED in applause as he roared!)

THE BOTTOM LINE: The fear about our beloved theatre can come to an end. This theatre is alive, kicking, and ready to move forward into the 21st century! Congratulations to all involved!

RogerA on September 21, 2013 at 9:38 am

Some people don’t like the curved screen at the Dome.

bigjoe59 on September 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm


as I said in my last post I haven’t been out to L.A. in approx. 7 years so i’m intrigued by the comments on 3-D films at the Cinerama Dome. to which my question-what essentially is the problem? is the large curved screen not optimum for showing films in 3-D or are the films just not shown correctly? when Arclight built its multiplex adjacent to the Dome didn’t they fully restore the Dome as well?