TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Unfavorite 138 people favorited this theater

Showing 26 - 50 of 1,555 comments

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 24, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Hello Again from NYC-

I thank Cliffs for the info on the Village and Bruin in Westwood. to which I have another question. if I understand your comment correctly the Village and the Bruin which opened in 1931 and 1937 were built from the get go as 1st run venues and have operated as such since the day they opened? the reason I ask is simple. I thought the Uptown in D.C. which is a 1st rum venue and been one since it opened in 1936. but it opened as 2nd/3rd run neighborhood theater and only reinvented itself as a 1st run venue with the dawn of the modern roadshow era in Oct. of 1955 with Oklahoma.

RogerA
RogerA on May 23, 2015 at 7:05 am

I wouldn’t call the Bruin a grand old theatre, old maybe but not grand.

I did go to see Interstellar in 70mm IMAX at Grauman’s Looked good the few scenes shot in IMAX. Those rails for the handicapped need to be lowered. And the only reason I went was because of the 70mm IMAX I am still waiting for a movie that is worth going to see so I can check out the laser. Why are they showing stuff shot or mastered in 2K? Arri has a new camera with a 65mm sensor that is higher res than 4K. These IMAX video films that are mastered or shot in 2k look horrible. The blowups from 35mm to IMAX looked bad too. I went to see an IMAX film at Universal when they had the 70MM it was one of the worst blowups from a 35mm (probably 3 perf) The grain and image quality was bad and inconstant some stuff was real bad and this was a major film with Depp. Oh yea the Cinerama film I saw recently had the same problem. Some stuff was shot in Cinerama but the action scenes were shot in Ultra Panavison. There was a big difference in quality. Henry Plitt said it best, “Blow up sh!t and you get big sh!t” I met him when he was testing Showscan at the Cinerama Dome. I can get 2K at home.

Saw How The West Was Won In Cinerama

Cliffs
Cliffs on May 23, 2015 at 2:36 am

I would think the Village and Bruin theaters, both in Westwood, would qualify. The Village opened in 1931 and the Bruin in 1937. Both still show first run films (the Village currently has Mad Max and the Bruin has Tomorrowland).

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 21, 2015 at 5:29 pm

Hello to Cliffs-

thanks for your informative reply. another question I hope you can help me with. I discovered this wonderful website the last week of January 2012. after browsing it briefly I created a project for myself. the Golden Age of building grand old movie theaters was approx. 1914 thru 1941. this is what I set out to look for. how many such theaters that were built from the get go as 1st run venues have continued to operate as such. so far the only theater i have found that was built during this period as a 1st run venue and has continued to operate as such since the day it opened is the Chinese. is that possible?

Cliffs
Cliffs on May 19, 2015 at 6:41 pm

bigjoe59- Yeah, I saw the 8pm Thursday showing of Catching Fire at the Chinese (first showing ever) and it was barely half full. It’s certainly picked up since then. I think a lot of people had abandoned the Chinese when it wasn’t showing much (and also, truth be told, it ended up being a bit too tourist-y for most locals, who instead were more inclined to go to the less hectic Arclight and Grove). The average movie-goer probably hadn’t seen a film there in several years. I’m a massive movie-goer and had probably only been there 6 times in the 5 years before the conversion (I went twice in 2011 and didn’t even step foot inside there in 2012). Catching Fire was only two months after the re-opening and I just don’t think anyone knew about it.

The other thing to remember is that no one uses a newspaper anymore for showtimes and the Chinese didn’t fall under some larger corporation, so to find out what was playing at the Chinese, you had to seek it out. The showtimes weren’t sitting there across from the Pacific ad or under the AMC times. That’s another reason I think it took a little while to get the word out. As I said, I think the fact that they specifically installed a 70mm film projector for Interstellar got the theater a lot of eyeballs again. There was a lot of press that they were doing this and I think it put the Chinese back on people’s radar.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 19, 2015 at 2:39 pm

Hello Again From NYC-

thanks to Danny B. for your reply. the reason I asked if the attendance had picked up all that much after the IMAX redo is simple. in Nov. of 2013 two months after the conversion was unveiled Catching Fire opened. now as you know CF is tied with Iron Man 3 as the highest grossing film of 2013. but a regular at the Chinese went to see CF with two friends the Sun. after the film opened. he stated on this page that it was an afternoon showing and was shocked the theater was at the absolute most 10% full.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 19, 2015 at 2:39 pm

Hello Again From NYC-

thanks to Danny B. for your reply. the reason I asked if the attendance had picked up all that much after the IMAX redo is simple. in Nov. of 2013 two months after the conversion was unveiled Catching Fire opened. now as you know CF is tied with Iron Man 3 as the highest grossing film of 2013. but a regular at the Chinese went to see CF with two friends the Sun. after the film opened. he stated on this page that it was an afternoon showing and was shocked the theater was at the absolute most 10% full.

Cliffs
Cliffs on May 19, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Yeah, Danny’s right. It’s hard to compare before to after since the last few years of the Chinese before the IMAX conversion they were booking nothing but junk (essentially what The Dome and the El Cap didn’t want) and holding onto it for waaaaay too long (they ran Tyler Perry’s Temptation for 4 weeks… it wasn’t an engagement, it was a sentence). Every once in a while they’d book something big (like The Hobbit in HFR3D), but they’d still be stuck playing it to empty houses for weeks (7 in this case) after the opening weekend flurry came and went. Now, they can book with more frequency and get films they didn’t have access to before. They didn’t even run Avengers for a full two weeks (returning Furious 7 in there for the last 3.5 days). I’m not so sure it even outdraws the El Capitan across the street. The El Capitan has a crazy following and sells out faster then the Dome even.

The better news about the Chinese is that it is now IMAX’s premiere house. Whether it’s installing a film projector to present Interstellar (the first time since Harry Potter 7.2 that an actual line formed on Hollywood Blvd) or the new laser projector, IMAX is treating this theater like home base.

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on May 18, 2015 at 5:26 pm

The overall increase has been much more than 15% to 20%, I’d say, but more because they can book desirable films again and don’t have to compete for booking with the Dome. Anybody remember when “Book of Eli” played 12 weeks in the big Chinese in the late Mann days. Before TCL and especially the IMAX conversion, the Chinese in recent years just did not have the booking leverage to get more than 3-4 of the biggest blockbusters per summer.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 18, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Hello Again From NYC-

I thank Escort N. his reply. if I am not mistaken The Avengers: Age of Ultron had the 2nd biggest opening weekend in history. now I wanted to see it at the IMAX theater in the Loews Lincoln Square complex but the first show of the day was way to early. so I saw the first showing of the day at the Loews which is the main and largest of the complex’s 12? auditoriums. now has I stated the film had the 2nd biggest weekend opening in history yet for that 1st showing on Sat. May 2 the Loews was virtually empty. I found that highly surprising.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 18, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Hello Again From NYC-

I thank Escort N. his reply. if I am not mistaken The Avengers: Age of Ultron had the 2nd biggest opening weekend in history. now I wanted to see it at the IMAX theater in the Loews Lincoln Square complex but the first show of the day was way to early. so I saw the first showing of the day at the Loews which is the main and largest of the complex’s 12? auditoriums. now has I stated the film had the 2nd biggest weekend opening in history yet for that 1st showing on Sat. May 2 the Loews was virtually empty. I found that highly surprising.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on May 18, 2015 at 3:47 pm

BigJoe59, There is certainly more attention on the Chinese after the IMAX conversion, and even though the Avengers opened simultaneously across the street at the El Capitan (first time in history that the same movie opened at both theatres) I would venture to guess that it drew more crowd than the El Capitan (Another beautiful theatre, operated by Disney) I don’t have hard numbers though.

Like the Ziegfeld, there are other theatres within a few miles of the Chinese, including the Cinema Dome that is currently playing the same movie. I love the Dome, but between the 2 the Chinese is still a better experience.

As for actually percentage numbers, that would have to come from the TCL Chinese management. I can only comment antidotally based on what I see myself and hear from management. We don’t see exclusive engagements for the blockbusters here either, seems to me that is a thing of the past. Studios want big numbers of the first weekend, so more screens is what happens. The “cheat” to boost opening weekend numbers is to open the movie at midnight the day before the opening day, and some theatres are even adding earlier shows!

As for StarWars VII, no official word on where it will open, I HOPE it opens at the El Capitan AND the Chinese, since I saw the original movie at the Chinese. If that happens, Hollywood Blvd will be the best place to see it in Los Angeles!

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 18, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Hello From NYC-

I thank Escott N. and Cliffs for their replies. I was guessing the upgrades increased the attendance somewhat but wondered exactly by how much. so since you two appear to be regulars at the Chinese what would you say the increase is percentage wise? for instance do Sat. and Sun. afternoon showings have an increase of 15% or even 20% over the same from before the IMAX conversion?

in Manhattan I consider the Ziegfeld the place to see any big action flick especially superhero films. but the Ziegfeld hasn’t had an exclusive engagement in years so matter how well reviewed a film is or how well liked it is by the public I haven’t seen anything even approaching a sell out crowd in years. the biggest recently was the day after Christmas 2012 for the first showing of Les Miserables. the theater was maybe 25% full.

another case. eventhough Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens is the most highly anticipated film this year I’m betting even if it gets reviewed as the best Star Wars yet the crowd at the Ziegfeld won’t be anywhere near a sell out. the reason is simple- whatever big film is playing the Ziegfeld is also playing at 12 if not more theaters in Manhattan.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on May 17, 2015 at 10:44 pm

It has definitely improved. And the Chinese is once again the premiere location for a studio premiere, they have events almost every week, sometimes 2 events in a day!

Cliffs
Cliffs on May 17, 2015 at 4:59 pm

It’s definitely picked up. It still doesn’t sell out like the IMAX in Universal City would, but it’s also got twice the amount of seats. It seemed like it was a fairly well kept secret for a while, but the secret seems to be getting out little by little. The 70mm film run of Interstellar did a lot to get people back in there to realize what they’d done with the IMAX conversion. It doesn’t really seem to be totally keeping pace with the Dome on the same films, but a quick glance at the seating for tonight’s Mad Max evening shows seem to maybe be slightly fuller at the Chinese versus the Dome.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 17, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Hello From NYC-

I was wondering if all the sound and projection upgrades the Chinese has gotten in the last year and a half have really increased the patronage that much. I’m thinking that however well done the upgrades are whatever big film is playing the Chinese is also playing at several other theaters in the surrounding area.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on May 17, 2015 at 12:42 am

The problem I have with the Dome is legroom. There’s isn’t enough for me. I do go the Village and the Vista on occasion.

Cliffs
Cliffs on May 16, 2015 at 9:35 pm

No, Arclight now runs the Dome pretty much exclusively 2D. You could also hit up the Village and the Bruin in Westwood, they stagger 2D and 3D.

It’s too bad, because IMAX has branded all of these films as “The IMAX 3D Experience” meaning they won’t even show any of these films in 2D because their branding is more important to them than their customers. That means 3D only for Mad Max, San Andreas, Jurassic World, Terminator Genesys, etc, regardless of what their audience actually wants.

I agree, it’s sad because I really want to support the Chinese and keep them strong, but I’m not going to settle for an experience I don’t want to do so. My next trip to the Chinese won’t be until Mission Impossible at the end of July.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on May 16, 2015 at 6:48 pm

Black box theaters? Only in a pinch…

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on May 16, 2015 at 1:58 pm

go to the arclight, DonSolosan.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on May 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm

For a while, I kept hearing reports on how 2D screenings were giving serious competition to the 3D ones — but now no one seems to be tracking that. I was hoping 3D would die off, or that what Cliffs said would happen: stagger shows for those of us who don’t like 3D. No luck. It’s too bad because the Chinese is showing movies that I’d like to see, and I’d like to support them. Guess I’ll have to take my business elsewhere…

Cliffs
Cliffs on May 16, 2015 at 12:44 am

Yeah, sooooo… While I was supremely impressed with the new IMAX Laser projection during Furious 7, I was far less impressed with IMAX Laser 3D during Mad Max Fury Road. The new glasses (which remind me of Dolby 3D’s) are murky and cloudy. Nearly everyone in our group (of 13) for Mad Max last night said they attempted several times in the first 15-20 minutes to clean them, realizing eventually that that’s just how they are. Not so noticeable during bright scenes, but distracting during darker ones. They’re also quite a bit smaller than the old IMAX 3D glasses, meaning the closer you sit, there’s a chance that the “lenses” on the new glasses won’t be big enough to completely clear the screen and will block part of the image.

We were thinking we might be seeing Episode VII there this December and Mad Max was a test, but we’ve ruled that out with the current Laser 3D tech. It’s too bad they can’t offer up IMAX 2D showings staggered with the 3D. Then at least people have a choice and don’t get forced the, in my eyes, substandard experience.

RogerA
RogerA on May 3, 2015 at 11:36 pm

http://www.graumanschinese.org/projection-1.html

Great site. Hollywood history like this needs to be documented so the know how to do it right is not lost. My cudos to who ever put this site together.

rasLXR
rasLXR on May 3, 2015 at 6:43 pm

http://www.graumanschinese.org/projection-1.html

Good site.

hdtv267
hdtv267 on April 10, 2015 at 3:23 am

Thanks for the link and photo. Sucks how would be a great photo is diminished by some jackass on a smart phone. If anyone finds other photos or links, please post them. Ok?