TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Showing 26 - 50 of 1,618 comments

RogerA on November 20, 2017 at 11:11 am

Justice League is listed as 1:85 on IMDB and like most movies these days it was shot in a variety of formats and used a digital intermediate.

And the center rail at the Chinese is annoying and I don’t like an isle where I want to sit. I am never happy with my seat at the Chinese.

leowtyx on November 20, 2017 at 9:29 am

I just saw Justice League, I notice they seem to be shown in ratio 1.89:1.

And since Justice League is 2.35:1 (on imdb), does that means they crop out the sides?! What the heck!?

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on October 11, 2017 at 10:51 am

I agree on the Chinese center railing. Unfortunately that is a building/safety code requirement. The only way to have avoided it would be not having a center aisle. My favorite seats are the last 3 rows of lower section, right on the center aisle, even with the railing.

leowtyx on October 11, 2017 at 10:21 am


Citywalk: Yeah, and that’s understandable because the screen is actually 1.33:1 instead of 1.43:1, so cropping would have to occur (I sat in 3rd to last row).

Chinese: That’s what I hate too!!!

But it doesn’t really get onto the lighted up screen when the movie’s playing, if you avoid 1st & 2nd row.

I sat in 3rd row to see Blade Runner 2049 and it was at bay (but you do peek at it during the slow parts lol).

Cliffs on October 11, 2017 at 3:13 am

I saw Dunkirk at the Citywalk 70mm IMAX and was surprised (sitting higher in the middle) that the bottom of the screen was cropped at the lower corners by railings and the floor. The screen is so massive it’s hard to notice unless you’re looking for it, but it’s happening.

The thing about the Chinese that makes me crazy is that god*$&m center railing that cuts down the middle of the front. If you’re sitting anywhere within the middle 8-10 seats for about the first 3-4 rows in the back half, that rail pops right up into the screen (and even on the center edge of row K). It’s a massive screw up in the otherwise beautiful IMAX conversion.

leowtyx on October 10, 2017 at 1:16 pm


For True IMAX, You would have a poor viewing distance/angle at lower rows no matter what. By reservation, I mean higher rows.

HowardBHaas on October 6, 2017 at 6:11 pm

You might try harder to spell. “Rows” not rolls. Haas not Hass.

leowtyx on October 6, 2017 at 5:33 pm


“lie-max” still means legitimate IMAX screens, just not the “big ones”, I thought it’s common sense? People do use “True IMAX” to describe “original format”.

Quote from Nolan: “I have been a longtime proponent of film – particularly the Imax film format – as a storytelling medium, the immersive quality of the image is second to none, drawing the audience into the action in the most intense way possible.”

I “actually” sat in multiple rolls and seats at AMC Citywalk and TCL Chinese to calibrate my viewing angle/distance, and I only reserve those seats. If I don’t get those seats, I don’t watch the movies.

I agree some seats are not good, but you did just dismiss the whole theater because of that.


For True IMAX, You would have a poor viewing distance/angle at lower rolls no matter what. By reservation, I mean higher rolls.

HowardBHaas on October 4, 2017 at 6:56 pm

Norton is saying that most of the seats at the Citywalk auditorium with 70mm have poor sightlines. Not a matter to be solved with seat reservations.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on October 4, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Hi leotyx,
I’m not going to get into a discussion about what IMAX is best other than to say that “true” IMAX means nothing because any theatre licensed to show IMAX is legitimate. Maybe call it “original format” IMAX if you want!

I’d also question “as intended” by the director. Certainly he knew it would be shown in multiple formats and was OK with that, or he would have pulled a Tarantino and only released it in IMAX 70mm. When I worked in the film biz we had monitors with multiple formats outlined so all information was captured for all formats. I’m sure Nolan did that.

My point was really to compare the architecture, the relationship of audience to screen. The theatre was almost empty, I could have sat in almost any seat, and I did more once. I stand by my conclusion that the steep rake and relationship of seating to screen at the Universal Citywalk is not conducive to watching a full length movie, at least for me. The seating relationship was designed for short event films, and is spectacular for that use in my opinion, but it doesn’t work for me for a full length drama. In the end, there is no “right”, it is a matter of opinion, and I expressed mine knowing I would get some pushback!

leowtyx on October 4, 2017 at 6:22 pm

@Escort Norton

That’s not the point of seeing Dunkirk in beautiful IMAX Laser, the point is to see it “as intended” by the director.

Which is IMAX 70mm (closest true IMAX screen is AMC Univeral Citywalk).

Also, you can’t blame a theater just because you didn’t reserve a good seat in advance.

Question for anyone:

I do watch other movies at Chinese Theater, especially those with 2.39 aspect ratio because its screen is closest to that ratio in LA.

Am I correct in thinking that? Or AMC Universal Citywalk would just Letterbox/mask their screen so I get the same experience even when the screen size will become smaller than Chinese’s?

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on August 23, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Mark— It’s 1.90:1. When they ran INTERSTELLAR on 70mm there, they brought the curtains in to mark the sides for 1:43:1.

moviebuff82 on August 22, 2017 at 4:02 pm

What’s the next movie to be shown at the chinese imax…i think it’s Inhumans for one week only then the remake of it then kingsman…

markinthedark on August 22, 2017 at 1:46 pm

What was the aspect ratio for all the IMAX-filmed scenes at the Chinese? Was it the 1.43:1 as it would be for the 15 Perf 70mm prints? I saw another IMAX film at the Chinese that appeared to be 1.90:1 with room at the top and bottom of the (*%#&@ unmasked) screen to spare.

I just saw Dunkirk at the Boeing IMAX in Seattle with Laser projection and it was full 1.43 for the IMAX sourced scenes. Although the Chinese had room to spare on screen when I was there it didn’t seem to be enough to go full 1.43:1 while maintaining the width of the screen. Am I wrong?

bigjoe59 on August 22, 2017 at 11:54 am

Hello from NYC-

to Escott O. Norton many thanks for your reply. as I said I saw it at the IMAX theater in the Loews Lincoln Square complex in Manhattan and with the size of the screen, the new laser projection system and the A+ sound system it was like I was on the beach with the stranded soldiers.

also if you’re ever in NYC and go the IMAX at Lincoln Square rows h or g are the perfect rows.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on August 21, 2017 at 10:03 pm

BigJoe59, I finally saw Dunkirk at the Chinese and it was pretty amazing! Very immersive, with stunning visuals and sound design. If you like Nolan’s style I think you would like this. If you are frustrated by Nolan’s multilayered sound style, this will drive you crazy. That is rally the main criticism I’ve heard, that you “can’t hear the dialogue”. For me that was just fine. Now to the projection and sound. I decided to see it in 70mmIMAX so I could compare (here is another theatre nearby that was showing it in that format).
I’m sure I will get plenty of disagreement, but I thought the quality of the IMAX Laser and the IMAX 70mm were almost indistinguishable, and both looked incredible. The sound in both theatres was very similar too. What made the experience at the Chinese much better for me was the positioning of the screen and seating. At the 70mm theatre Universal Citywalk, unless you were near the very back you have to crane your neck to see the full screen, which I found uncomfortable. At the Chinese I sat at my favorite place, just behind the cross-aisle near the middle, and that put me square in the middle of the screen. No neck ache!

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on August 21, 2017 at 9:52 pm

It’s a nice glossy colorful book with the first pages about the history with both vintage and recent photos. There is also a timeline. The majority of the book is handprint ceremonies through the years. Some great photos there too. Amazon is also selling it, so that shipping might be cheaper.

silver on August 21, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Has anyone seen the new souvenir book that TCLchinesetheatres has begun selling on their website (for $10 plus shipping)? I assume they also pitch it to all the tourists doing the tour. “TCL Chinese Theatre History of the Iconic Hollywood Landmark Souvenir Book.” A photographic look at the theatre’s 90 year history.

I wonder if the book is worth it. Or if it’s just mostly photos of the handprints and the old movie star doing the handprints

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on August 1, 2017 at 12:26 pm

BigJoe59, I’ve been out of town for the last few weeks but plan to see Dunkirk at the Chinese as soon as I get back, and will report. My temptation is to also see it in 70mmIMAX at the one theatre it is playing in Los Angeles, and compare.

bigjoe59 on July 31, 2017 at 12:22 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 1:52 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 6:06 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 1:48 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 5:14 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 2:32 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.