TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Showing 101 - 125 of 1,552 comments

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on August 27, 2014 at 12:16 am

Hi Bigjoe59, Not sure if you know about this website, it is the best resource I know of for Chinese Theatre history. He has a very detailed timeline put together. Here is the 1955 page:

bigjoe59 on August 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Hello From NYC-

before I found this website I was unaware that this theater hosted roadshow engagements or reserved seat movie as me and my friends called them. to which my question. the period from the Oct. 1955 opening of Oklahoma to the Dec. 1972 opening of Man of La Mancha I refer to as the prime roadshow period. now during this period did the Chinese host any roadshow engagements other than West Side Story and Hello Dolly?

bigjoe59 on August 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Hello From NYC-

before I found this website I was unaware that this theater hosted roadshow engagements or reserved seat movie as me and my friends called them. to which my question. the period from the Oct. 1955 opening of Oklahoma to the Dec. 1972 opening of Man of La Mancha I refer to as the prime roadshow period. now during this period did the Chinese host any roadshow engagements other than West Side Story and Hello Dolly?

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on August 11, 2014 at 6:41 am

Hi bigjoe59, I do think the Chinese and other theaters suffer from the wide releases. Within the Hollywood Blvd district they seem to avoid having the same movies in multiple theaters, but just hop over the hill to Universal Citywalk and you can see the same movies in the multiplex (I never do though!). Yes, there have been some big films that have attracted crowds, in fact Guardians of the Galaxy is a good draw right now. I’m pretty sure they don’t do discounted matinees, but not sure. I think the biggest thing that works at the Chinese is the premieres and special events. They block off the street and really do a great job.

One of the drawbacks of success with tourists is that the associated crowds and aggressive costumed characters scare away locals. I just talked to a guy who lives walking distance from the Chinese and he hasn’t seen the renovation because he doesn’t like dealing with the “circus” of the Blvd. (Very much like walking through Times Square!) I understand his sentiment, but will always take the subway and brave the crowds to see a movie in the Chinese.

bigjoe59 on August 10, 2014 at 3:56 pm

to Escott O. Norton-

thanks for the reply to my inquiry. to which I want to make sure I understand your reply. so are you saying that although the Chinese is now a state of the art IMAX theater following its Sept. 2013 reopening that it still faces the same problem as the Ziegfeld in Manhattan? a companion question. since its reopening have there been any “big” films that had almost sell out crowds? when the theater reopened last Sept. its new sound and projection was highly lauded by everyone. yet from the posting by the person who saw Catching Fire on Sun. two days after it opened the person was shocked the theater was at the most 20% full. to bad if that’s the case.

in Manhattan many theaters have discount rates for shows before 12 noon but the Ziegfeld is not one of them. so if a “big” film opens at a number of theaters in Manhattan that offer the discount rate I will see it at the Ziegfeld because while it may sell out at the smaller theaters I know no matter how critically lauded the film is the Ziegfeld will be at the most 25% filled.

CTCrouch on August 10, 2014 at 11:44 am

As for the decorative standards: The current standards are replicas. The previous standards (which were replicas also) were auctioned off with the seats as a bulk lot. The company that purchased the seating lot was selling groups of seats, with decorative standards, on ebay, a few months back.

Silver: They conducted a significant remodel of the modern Hollywood Blvd. box office (there are a few pictures up). The older structure, which currently houses StarLine, would be a logistical nightmare to utilize as a box office, due to the courtyard tourism foot traffic.

Moviebuff82: all of the theatres are now stadium seating (modern 6 plex and classic main house).

LoveCinema on August 10, 2014 at 12:25 am

Thank you Escott O.Norton for explaining…and the link to photos.Looks beautiful…and all the other photos, too. Gave me another opurtinity to look inside the great work that LAHTF is providing for the Historic Theatres. Heard rumors about installing DOLBY ATMOS Sound System inside my favorite Theater? Hopefully this stays a rumor. Greetings from Germany

silver on August 9, 2014 at 11:48 pm

Hi, speaking of the recent renovations, I thought I recall reading that the box office would be moving back to an earlier design in a separate structure (then occupied by a tour company). Did they do that?

One of these days I’ll get to make my first post-IMAX renovation visit…

moviebuff82 on August 9, 2014 at 7:51 pm

what sound systems has this theater used since its inception? I bet all of them, from vitaphone to Dolby Atmos. As for projection, i guess they used everything from 16mm to 35mm to 70mm to digital projection. Do any of the theaters have stadium seating?

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on August 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm

The reduction in seating was actually for a number of reasons. New red comfortable seats made for current patrons sizes are a little wider, and there were requirements for handicapped accessibility that required a cross aisle in the middle of the auditorium. One nice detail is that the decorative standards at the ends of the seats are historically accurate. Can’t remember if they reused the old standards or they are replicas. They look good though. Click here for a photo:

LoveCinema on August 9, 2014 at 1:15 pm

DonSolosan – well- I did notice that the 6 added screens are not inside the Chinese Auditorium.
What I meant was, because of converting the Chinese Theatre into an IMAX 3D reduction of seats had to be done. That’s what I feel a bit sorry about.
Have a nice day.

moviebuff82 on August 7, 2014 at 12:51 am

I was watching this week’s episode of “Drunk History” on Comedy Central and during an episode that made fun of the history of Hollywood they showed footage of the Chinese theater with the IMAX signs. Still looks great.

DonSolosan on August 7, 2014 at 12:35 am

@LoveCinema — the six screens that were added are in a building next door to the Chinese. They didn’t impact the seating in the Chinese at all.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on August 6, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Hi Bigjoe59, Yes, this can be a problem at the Chinese and other theaters in L.A. too. The whole first weekend gross calculations that seems to drive the wide release might be great for the studios but is not as good for the theaters in my opinion. Too bad since the exclusive openings of the past made for such special events! I remember many times in my youth standing in lines all night to see an opening on Hollywood Blvd!

I was just in Manhattan for the week long League of Historic American Theatres Conference and got to visit so many wonderful theaters, and really got a good sense of NYC. It was an amazing week! Didn’t get into the Ziegfeld but will make the effort next time. The trip was made even better by the wonderful tour guides we had as we explored the city via subway!

bigjoe59 on August 6, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Hello From NYC-

in Manhattan the Ziegfeld is still in my opinion the theater to see a big action and or science fiction/fantasy film. this is for both sound and projection which brings me to my question.

no matter how critically well received a film might be and no matter how popular it is with moviegoers the Ziegfeld is never very full even at optimum times like Sat. or Sun. screenings. this is of course due to the fact that every action/science fiction/fantasy film opens on 2,000-3,000 screens on the same day. now I’m assuming no film which plays the Chinese will be playing in another theater in the immediate Hollywood area. but there is all of L.A.. so even with the recent upgrade at the Chinese does it in fact have the same problem as the Ziegfeld?

I remember last Nov. a poster mentioned he and friends went to a Sun. afternoon screening only two days after it opened of Catching Fire and the theater was at the most 20% full.

LoveCinema on August 6, 2014 at 9:43 am

Dear Escott O. Norton,

Thank you very much for responding on my comment and thanks a lot for giving me information about I wish we’d more time back in the 8o’s to be able to visit one or two more of those magnificent Movie -Palaces. All I could do was passing the beautiful marquees and the huge buildings – wondering how it would look inside(?). Now I had the oppurtunity to view a few of the Palaces (gasping for air again). It really would have been a shame harming the beautiful interior of the “Chinese” whilst converting it to “IMAX 3D”. I am aware that the technical progress throughout the past years would shurely not stop outside this historic building. I followed the work that had been done on small movies like “TCL Chinese Theater Renovation Time Lapse” or read articles on the subject, also to be added 6 more screens. What a shame that seating reduction had to be done. Throughout the past years every single cinema over here had to face convertion from Original 35mm print into digital/digital 3D projection (not “Imax” of course, as buildings are mostly too small) .There was and still is no other choice.

Congratulations on this fabulous work you do. Wish we could have an Organisation like yours over here in Germany. Mostly these buildings “crumble” down, after undergoing a process of vandalism, until day of Demolitian. Mind you, the first Movie-Theatre in my hometown (build by my Great-Grandfather, opened in 1929, seating 600), is still standing(unused of course, but “up”).

The “Chinese” will stay my No.1 favorite Movie-Theater of all time. Wish I could experience it again.

Good luck and best wishes to you and your work at"LATHForg" from Germany

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on August 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Dear LoveCinema, Thanks for sharing your first time in the Chinese. I agree, it is a magical place! I have been going since I was a kid and I still feel a sense of awe when I walk in the auditorium!
Let me assure you that the changes that were made in 2013 did not harm any of the historic details of the theatre at all! In fact, great care was taken to protect the beautiful theatre. The new work was done with taste and it honors the original design. In fact, in some ways, it looks closer to the original than what you saw in 1982. The L.A. Historic Theatre Foundation awarded the Chinese with our Theatre of the Year award for the great work done to protect the Chinese.
I hope you have another chance to come to Hollywood and experience the Chinese, and while you are here, see some of the other gorgeous movie palaces in Los Angeles! We have so many treasures! Please visit our site for some pictures and information on events and tours:

LoveCinema on August 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Back in 1982 my twinsister and two friends travelled through the States. All was organised by ourselfes and our journey,(which was a “lifetime” never to forget adventure, was titled “1982-What a way to go….to Hollywood”. Arriving in Los Angeles with “Pater Brown” (the used car we bought in Arizona named after it’s owner before, who was a priest) we headed straight for “Graumann’s Chinese Theatre”, which I only knew from the Movies to be shown at my Grandparents Cinemas back in Germany. Before starting the journey we promised Martin, our projectionist, who unfortunately couldn’t attend the journey, to bring back an original “Graumans Chinese Theatre” Ticket. Only to find out at the lovely ticket- booth outside that it was impossible to just buy the thing and walk away again. So my sister and I decided to buy three tickets and watch the show.

The movie to be seen was “TRON”.

I will never ever forget the first look inside the beautiful foyer. We were made so welcome there. Had a talk with the Manager and before entering the Auditorium we were invited to have a look inside the Projection-booth. Entering the Auditorium, I gasped for air, as I had never ever seen such a huge and such a beautiful designed Auditorium. Walking down the aisles was like walking on clouds. I couldn’t believe that I was actuelly h e r e…until the curtain opened….and then I knew I was in “Cinema-Heaven”. I didn’t actually “see” “TRON”, I experienced it, with the mighty sound-system, on that huge Screen, presented in the highly skilled technology at that time. Unforgetable….! A never to forget visit at “Graumans Chinese Theatre”, just like our journey was. I wasn’t able to visit it again. Recently I found out about the severe changes this historic landmark had to undergo. It’ll never be the same again.

RobertAlex on May 9, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Sorry Mark, the Chinese is not listed under Pacific Theaters/Arclight section this week, it is only listed under “Independent Theaters” section. I have not seen it listed under Pacific Theaters for a few weeks now.

markinthedark on May 9, 2014 at 7:16 am

Who wants to take a picture and post the Friday LA Times Arclight/Pacific ad featuring the Chinese Theaters? Would love to see how they feature them compared to the other theaters.

Cliffs on May 9, 2014 at 2:58 am

Well, it was also beneficial for Arclight to break away from the Chinese because it also allows them access to Disney now (which they didn’t have before). After losing Avengers and Iron Man 3 to the El Capitan, they were able to get Thor, Captain America, Muppets Most Wanted, and eventually Star Wars, Pixar, and the rest. Had the Chinese never IMAX’d and the booking district split, Arclight would almost certainly never had any of those films. I’m sure that’s worth, long term, whatever attendance might get pulled by the Chinese now.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on April 30, 2014 at 4:10 am

Mark: They’ve been double booking ArcLight & Chinese since “Gravity” opened. Surreal, I know.

RobertAlex on April 29, 2014 at 9:42 pm

I too miss the old Calendar section that listed all the theaters including AMC which no longer uses print. Which made me think of the below….

BTW – Geek Alert that a few of us might like. If you use the Fandango IPad App (this doesnt work on the website or the iphone app)when you select your Theater and movie time it will tell you the Auditorium number the movie will play in. For me, this is a huge geek gadget. I can now pick any theater and I do not have to call them to ask what is playing in what Auditorium, i just look on Fandango and it is there. Finally a way to find out what auditorium is showing what movie.

Back to The Chinese, Does everyone know that the Chinese 6 (upstairs multiplex) appears to have Dolby Atmos installed in Auditorium #1? I saw it listed when they played Gravity, I called and they said it was only for this engagement. Now I see that Capt America is advertised in ATMOS. Great news, as I have fallen hard for ATMOS.

CTCrouch on April 29, 2014 at 4:13 pm

When they duel book titles with the Chinese, Arclight Hollywood still pulls in much larger audiences; plus, they receive money from booking the Chinese/the benefits of being able to book an additional house with the tittle. On those occasions when a movie is only booked at the Chinese, the Arclight Hollywood usually has a full slate booked for itself, receives money from the Chinese booking, and reaps the booking perks of having that house available for the movie. It’s a win/win for the Arclight/Pacific group, as the Chinese doesn’t impact their business levels to any notable degree, pays them for booking, and provides another venue to shore up their buying clout (a high profile venue at that).

markinthedark on April 29, 2014 at 6:52 am

Seems odd because there is an Arclight (direct competition) just around the corner from the Chinese. Why would they attempt to book desired films at the Chinese when they weigh preference on the Arclight/Cinerama Dome?