TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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bigjoe59 on July 31, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Hello From NYC-

i saw Dunkirk at the Loews Lincoln Square IMAX auditorium and the experience was !!! WOW !!!. the sound and projection was A+. i felt like I was one of the stranded soldiers on the beach. what was it like at this theater?

bigjoe59 on June 23, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Hello Again!:–)

to Escott O. Norton I thank you yet again. from all the talk following the IMAX redo I got the impression the interior had been radically changed. but if I understand your latest reply correctly the interior is 80% the same as when it opened May of 1927. that’s good to know that the IMAX redo didn’t do away with that much.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on June 22, 2017 at 9:06 pm

Happy to help! If you just look at the walls and ceiling, I’d say closer to 80%. Including the many changes tot he seating the number would be lower. Soon I will be sharing a great “tour” of what the Chinese was like on Opening Day, put together by one of the foremost Chinese Theatre historians. He has found some amazing photos!

bigjoe59 on June 22, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Hello Again-

I want to thank Escott O. Norton for your detailed reply. it was quite kind of you to do so. a 3rd way of the asking the question. percentage wise how much of the original 1927 interior is left? 40% or less?

RogerA on June 20, 2017 at 8:14 pm

There is a large concession stand where once there was seating and two columns have been removed.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on June 20, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Hi Big Joe, There was a lot of concern about the most recent renovation, and the owners consulted closely with the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation and other preservation experts during the entire process. The biggest change was the lowering of the floor in front to increase the rake as well as the size of the screen. Lowering the floor essentially destroyed the basement and stage area. We did a behind the scenes tour just before it closed, so that area is well documented. The existing curtains were reused by simply adding a new section of fabric at the top. The original walls and ceiling were protected during construction preserved.

There have been many remodels before this, the biggest in my opinion was when the screen was widened and the 2 pagodas on either side of the proscenium were destroyed. That was way before my time, but I would have loved to see the pagodas. The other big change was the bottom of the chandelier being removed. Again, that was a while ago. There were previous changes to the rake of the seating, originally the seats started at lobby level and sloped down to the stage, but for most of my life there was a steep stairway at the back that people constantly tripped on as they were looking up at the ceiling. So in a way, the recent renovation brings the seating rake back closer to what Grauman built.

As far as what is left from 1927, the ceiling, the walls and side columns, the lobby murals and decor are preserved, the women lounge is original, and much of the behind the scenes office areas above the lobby are untouched. I’ve had meetings in Sid Grauman’s art deco office and it is like traveling back in time! Sid’s private box is also still there, and is used by VIPs. We have some post renovation pictures on our website at and on our Facebook page.

bigjoe59 on June 20, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Hello Again from NYC-

I guess another way of asking the question would have been this- while the exterior doesn’t seem to have changed much how much of the 1927 opening interior is left?

RogerA on June 20, 2017 at 4:37 pm there was a lot done to the theater for the renovation

bigjoe59 on June 20, 2017 at 4:32 pm

Hello From NYC-

I haven’t had the opportunity to visit L.A. since the Chinese had its IMAX redo, to which a question.

aside from the screen has anything in the theater
interior been changed that much. I am assuming it
has landmark status so that the renovation would
have been able to change just so much.

Coate on June 19, 2017 at 5:35 pm

The Chinese was among just eleven theaters in the United States that installed the then-new Dolby Digital sound system for their engagement of “Batman Returns” which opened twenty-five years ago today. And here’s the link to a retrospective article that commemorates the occasion.

RogerA on May 22, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Star Wars was moved to a Mann theater in Hollywood and not the Cinerama. Sorcerer did play in the Chinese because it was previously booked and they had to play it. Mann wanted to keep Star Wars so they installed 70mm in a theater down the street and played Star Wars there until they could get rid of Sorcerer. This incident is why they built the twins. So in the future they could move a movie that wasn’t doing good business to one of the twins and keep the big house for the hit. Once Star Wars was back in the Chinese it stayed there for a record run. The twins are long gone demolished for the Hollywood Highland redo.

moviebuff82 on May 22, 2017 at 2:38 pm

40 years ago this past thursday Star Wars had its premiere at this theater when it was a single screen venue and played there for two weeks before being moved to the hollywood cinerama due to Sorcerer playing there. That movie didn’t fare as well as Star Wars, and when Star Wars returned to the Chinese during the first weekend of August, there was a lavish ceremony featuring R2D2 and C3PO putting handprints on the cement. By then, Star Wars was playing in around 1,000 theatres, a huge improvement from 32-40 theatres during Memorial Day weekend of 1977 when Fox deemed that movie a B-picture while The Other Side Of Midnight was supposed to be their big hit. Same thing happened with Poltergiest becoming the A picture while ET was the B five years after the movie came out.

RogerA on May 19, 2017 at 9:05 pm

The square footage of the Chinese theater is extreme. It has changed over the years with the various modifications. Someone once estimated it to be around 500,000 cubic feet. Because of its size it was hard to get proper sound levels. The center channel high frequency horn would often fail from being over driven. The auditorium doesn’t look that big but it is an optical illusion. One time I chose to walk from the stage to the front during a power failure with no lights in the auditorium. My light was just absorbed by the darkness. It just doesn’t look as big as it is.

The screen is in an area that was once the stage. The stage is gone now. Partially removed for the Windjammer modification the remainder of the stage was removed for the IMAX modification. Two pillars in the front of the auditorium were also removed years ago for the Windjammer modification. The area these pillars were supporting dropped an inch or two when they were removed. These pillars matched the other pillars but were in front of the auditorium to the left and right of the stage. These pillars limited the screen size and were removed to install the huge Windjammer screen.

At one time there were two areas in the rear of the auditorium that was the nursery. The concession stand is new and keeps growing. When the Windjammer booth was removed and the projectors moved back upstairs the concession stand was enlarged. So over the years the Chinese has changed but still is huge.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on May 19, 2017 at 1:27 am

My understanding is that the Chinese is the largest IMAX Theatre, based on seating capacity, not on screen size.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 18, 2017 at 10:45 pm

Lincoln Square has the largest IMAX screen in North America at 97x76 feet. The screen at the Chinese is almost as wide but not as tall, at 94x46 feet.

RogerA on May 18, 2017 at 10:09 pm

I know the proscenium at the Chinese is around 100' and I think the IMAX screen is close to that at about 97' Not sure what size Loews Lincoln Square is. But size can vary the largest IMAX screen is in Australia

bigjoe59 on May 18, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Hello from NYC-

would any devotees of the Chinese know the difference
in size if any of the Chinese’s IMAX screen and the
one at the Loews Lincoln Square in Manhattan?

moviebuff82 on May 17, 2017 at 2:28 pm

I wonder what the chinese will do for its 100th?

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on May 17, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Because of prescheduled events both tonight and tomorrow, the Chinese Theatre' 90th Anniversary will be celebrated on Monday the 22nd with a VIP Event in the historic Forecourt. The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation will be a part of the event. Photos will be shared after the event.

RogerA on May 8, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Yea the volume on the trailers to loud and the volume on the feature to low.

Oh the lights in the ceiling are nothing like they should be at one time they were adjustable blue red yellow

Richie_T on May 8, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Caught Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 this weekend. Packed house. Presentation is second to none. This film begs to be seen in IMAX Laser 3D.

terrywade on November 10, 2016 at 7:48 pm

Was just at the Chinese Theatre Hollywood this past week. To bad the fountain on the left is not working and not lit up. The whole courtyard needs come color lights. Like put in some orange lights to light up the main pagoda above the door. Same inside years ago many color lights were used before the movie and when a movie was on. Now everything is turned off. No nice blue/red bulbs under the balcony. A little color is on the main light in the ceiling and a red light on the side but everything goes dark when the movie starts. Looks like they just have boring white led’s in most of the ceiling lights. You would think after spending all the money to put in a semi large curved Imax screen with curtains and install new seats plus dig down with a new slope you can’t see the screen If someone sits in front of you that is tall or If they lean forward,the image is semi blocked. Someone did not do the proper measurements when they put in the seating rows. The best thing about the place is the stereo sound with speakers up in the ceiling now. I liked the smaller cinemas in the back, two of them are a very good size with nice curved screens. Like so many theatres they don’t bother to close the curtains these days in the back cinemas.

rasLXR on June 28, 2016 at 8:32 pm

The King And I had its joint World Premiere here 60 years ago today 28th June 1956 other premiere at the Roxy Theatre in New York

Coate on April 8, 2016 at 2:54 am

“The Bad News Bears” opened here 40 years ago today, where it enjoyed a successful eleven-week run. To commemorate the occasion, here’s my latest historical/retrospective article which mentions the run at the Chinese as well as hundreds of other theaters in which it played. Do take a look if you’re a fan of the movie or if you have fond memories of 1970s era moviegoing.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 23, 2016 at 10:39 am

The ad posted yesterday for “King Kong” failed to give a date, which was March 24th, 1933. Without that vital information, one might guess that it was the grand opening of the now classic movie. But “King Kong” actually had its world premiere in New York City three weeks earlier, on March 2nd, in an unprecedented two-theatre engagement at Radio City Music Hall and the New Roxy (supported at both by stage shows).