TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Unfavorite 135 people favorited this theater

Showing 1,401 - 1,425 of 1,510 comments

Doug23
Doug23 on June 28, 2005 at 12:38 pm

I hope that everyone in California, if not the United States, appreciates what they have in the superb single screen cinemas in Los Angeles. May I just make a comment about Dolby v THX? In my younger days, I was involved in the audio business in the UK, and always used hi fi equipment to listen to my TV with obviously varying results. “Varying” because movies, my main interest, were recorded to Academy Curve, which emphasized the vocal frequencies.
Dolby, up to this point best known for noise reduction systems, entered the
movie sound business with, I think, “Lisztomania” by Ken Russell, because they could reduce noise, and thus the need for the Academy Curve was lessened. I.E. a flatter higher fidelity response could be obtained. Later, I believe for the film “A Star is Born”, Barbara Streisand version, rear channels were required. The only way of doing this previously was with expensive 6 channel systems on 70mm film, but Dolby rigged a system based on the old Sansui QS domestic quadraphonic system, which required only two channels to be recorded, which were processed to extract the centre voice channel and the rear effects. This was later modified and improved. Most people’s first noticeable exposure to the Dolby Stereo system was with “Star Wars”, the opening scene in particular being notable for the effect of the imperial cruiser approaching from above and behind. So, Dolby introduced a cheaper way of getting stereo surround sound into theaters and, soon after, into homes, and deserve more than the “just a noise reduction system” label.
Lucas was later dissatisfied with the performance of the sound systems being used in cinemas, and introduced the TAP, Theater Alignment Program, to certify those cinemas which were superior in their sound qualities. This later spread through the certification of equipment, both home and professional, with Thomas Holliman (?) being the designer. Hence THX, apart from jalopies and student movies, also coming from Thomas Holliman Xperiment.
Recently standing with the rest of the fans at the “Episode III” premiere in Westwood, I realized that “Star Wars”, the original, had changed the course of
my life, by taking the audio business towards the film business, this had stimulated my interest in film, and eventually lead to my current attendance of the UCLA School of Film and Television. Which has enabled me to visit the Chinese and all of the other magnificent theatres (sic —– I am English after all) in Los Angeles.

And, oh, if Sensurround did cover the frequencies suggested, down to 5 Hz, probably no sound system in use currently would reach down that far, luckily. 7 Hz at a high enough volume will probably shake your internal organs to bits.

Doug

Vito
Vito on June 23, 2005 at 12:53 am

I never saw Lucas, but he may have played a role in the Dolby installation at Cinerama. Someone, shocked at the engagement being presented in 35mm mono, went to the Cinerama’s owners, Consolidated theatres on Oahu, and convinced them to install Dolby.
Oh by the way Bill, I don’t think George would have sat thru his movie the way we were running it in 35mm with mono sound.
I did run a lot of movies for celebs in Hawaii, as well as private screenings at the home office screening room. Jack Lord (Hawaii 5-0) often held private Sunday morning brunch screenings for his celeb pals.

Coate
Coate on June 22, 2005 at 10:04 pm

Vito,
You’re welcome regarding the article.

As for George Lucas fleeing to Hawaii to escape the “Star Wars” mania, this is often referenced as having been during the movie’s opening weekend. I’m no sure if that is correct as by several accounts they were still working on the sound mix on opening day. Plus, as I pointed out in the Hawaii Cinerama thread (/theaters/359/), Honolulu didn’t open the movie until its third week. By then, Lucas had probably already returned to the “mainland” as Hawaiians like to call it. But then, Baxter’s (error-ridden) Lucas biography places Lucas on Oahu during the movie’s release and claims it opened there the same time as the mainland. Whatever.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 22, 2005 at 8:44 am

Vito: Didn’t George Lucas flee to Hawaii to escape all the craziness when “Star Wars” first opened and the mania began? I think I read that somewhere. Hey, maybe you projected the movie with him in the audience? :)

Vito
Vito on June 22, 2005 at 8:04 am

A link to a cool “Star Wars” memory article:
View link

Thanks Michael for that very informative article.
I was in Hawaii at the time and was very agravated by the fact that we opened the picture in two locations, both in 35mm with mono
sound. The prints were SVA but we did not have Dolby processors for the playback. Later in the run, a Dolby CP100 was installed at the Cinerama. As you know “Empire” and “Jedi” did play in 70mm six track at the Cinerama.

Coate
Coate on June 19, 2005 at 5:24 am

“One of my fondest childhood memories is waiting outside the theater in line for what seemed like hours to see the original "Star Wars”. Even at age 9 I thought it was really cool to be seeing a movie THERE. I’m from Minnesota, and my dad lived in San Diego at the time. I’m not quite clear on how or why we happened to be there right then, but I’m so glad we were. It’s a cool story to tell as an adult, especially now with the release of “Revenge of the Sith”, and people talking about their own “Star Wars” memories…“ (MaraC”


A link to a cool “Star Wars” memory article:
View link

Coate
Coate on June 19, 2005 at 5:16 am

The Chinese was among the theatres included in the original limited-market launch of “Star Wars.” The Chinese’s 5/25/77 opening-day gross, according to Daily Variety, was a house record $19,358.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 19, 2005 at 3:38 pm

Current seating capacity in the original main auditorium is 1,492. This is due mainly to larger seats and re-spacing plus the loss of several rows from the rear orchestra when the foyer was recently enlarged into the auditorium space to accomodate a concession stand. This area was where the projection booth was located when it was moved from its ‘upper location’ when Cinemiracle was installed in the 1950’s

MaraC
MaraC on May 19, 2005 at 6:27 am

One of my fondest childhood memories is waiting outside the theater in line for what seemed like hours to see the original “Star Wars”. Even at age 9 I thought it was really cool to be seeing a movie THERE. I’m from Minnesota, and my dad lived in San Diego at the time. I’m not quite clear on how or why we happened to be there right then, but I’m so glad we were. It’s a cool story to tell as an adult, especially now with the release of “Revenge of the Sith”, and people talking about their own “Star Wars” memories…

BhillH20
BhillH20 on May 18, 2005 at 5:25 pm

Wow! 78 Years Ago Today — Opened For Business!!

unihikid
unihikid on April 6, 2005 at 8:15 pm

my best friend worked at the theater next to graumans before they tore it down.when they let him go he took the exit signs that were over the doors,he has 2 i have one,its in a asian script,so im happy with my little piece of hollywood.the last movie i saw there was rush hour 2,and the place was empty,it connected to gruamans by some kind of tunnle,i wonder if they incorprated that into the new complex.either way my friend shane got transfered to the dome,and i saw solomon birch there and that was awsome.im a little upset about the whole archlight thing,but at least they kept it.

Bway
Bway on April 2, 2005 at 4:32 am

Perhaps, but I was already in the theater a few years earlier, so it’s not like I “had” to go inside.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 1, 2005 at 10:16 pm

I’d say, spend the $10 and go inside! Who cares what’s playing. Remember, we buy tickets to theaters, not movies.

Bway
Bway on April 1, 2005 at 7:54 pm

Yes, it is amazing. I was just there this past January. Althought I didn’t see a movie there this past January, I did see a movie in the Chinese Theater the last time I was in California some years ago. Unfortunately the last few times I was in California, there were always stupid movies in the Chinese Theater that i had no desire to see, so haven’t been inside for a while.

uncleal923
uncleal923 on April 1, 2005 at 7:10 pm

I was just in California and had the chance to see the Graumans Chinese just before the world premiere of Miss Congeniality 2. I did not stay for the walk down the red carpet, but it looked fabulous with all those lights. Though I have to admit it seemed smaller then I envisioned it. However, those footprints are great and well worth going to see. If they ran the tour that day I would go inside, but, unfortunately they didn’t. That theater is a show in itself.

trooperboots
trooperboots on March 7, 2005 at 2:10 pm

KenRoe, I had no idea they were doing that extensive of renovations! That’s great news. I am very interested to see the pagoda over the door and the replica doors, as well.

Although I have not yet seen the movie, I noticed in a still from the film “The Aviator”, they have replicated the entrance of the Chinese as it looked with specially built neon signs for the movie “Hell’s Angels” in 1929. I believe the neon signs were red, and were 2 sided on both sides of the forecourt. I also found a photo of the signs at the following links. Does anyone know what other real neon signs were made just for a film title shown at the Chinese Theater?
http://jpg2.lapl.org/theater3/00015760.jpg
http://jpg2.lapl.org/theater1/00014618.jpg

Here is another view of the Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr signature blocks … again, notice her HUGE “and I” in comparision to his “The King” … below is another unusual “non-star” set of prints, which was Donald O'Connors mother in his block….
http://jpg2.lapl.org/theater1/00014585.jpg

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 7, 2005 at 1:29 pm

While on my recent visit to LA, I stopped by the Chinese (as all good theatre lovers should do! lol) and went into the adjacent gift shop. They have on sale the DVD “Hollywood at Your Feet” ‘The story of the Chinese Theatre footprints’ hosted by Raquel Welch. 53 mins running time. On the Image Entertainment label # ID0964FSDVD

Also, every 15 minutes they announce over a microphone to the crowd viewing the footprints that they can come into the theatre lobby where one of the staff tells you a little about the history of the theatre and you can take photo’s. Of course the movie is screening in the auditorium so you’re not allowed any further inside. 2 Dollars goes to childrens charity as an entry fee to this short tour.

Restoration work continues on the building with the help and advice of Hollywood Heritage. Recent work completed is the new screen curtain which replicates the original Chinese patterned curtain and replaces the plain red drapes that have been in use the past 40 years or so. Also with help from photographs taken at the time of opening, new replica entrance doors have been made and are now in place. They were designed by studio craftsmen at Warner Brothers studios and look terrific with patterns in real gold leaf etc. A small pagoda has also been replaced over the front entrance. The original disappeared many years ago. Next job is apperently to sort out the electric wiring at the theatre and re-light circuits of decorative lighting that has been out of commission for many years.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 7, 2005 at 12:55 pm

You’re welcome, Christian. That’s the first photo I posted to the web – I’m glad it worked. I hope you find your book. I’m looking forward to reading some of those stories.

trooperboots
trooperboots on March 5, 2005 at 11:23 am

Hey Bill… Thanks for posting… the photo is great! I think the story of those blocks rate among the best stories of the forecourt. I have a book all about the prints at the theater somewhere in storage. I will try to find it and post some of the other legendary stories. The book also gives the dates and ceremony info. It is long out of print. Has anyone else seen the book?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 5, 2005 at 9:35 am

Maybe this link will work better:

View link

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 5, 2005 at 9:33 am

Here’s a link to a picture I took in 2003 of the “King and I” footprint block. I hope it works:

View link

br91975
br91975 on March 1, 2005 at 9:49 am

In one scene in the new flick ‘Be Cool’, John Travolta and Uma Thurman are shown driving away from the Million Dollar Theater, while the follow-up shot is of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. (Also, on prominent display on the Grauman’s marquee, via either stock footage or some sort of homage, is title signage from 1987’s ‘The Untouchables’.)

uncleal923
uncleal923 on February 11, 2005 at 8:33 pm

I heard it was an actress too.

trooperboots
trooperboots on February 9, 2005 at 2:28 am

Hi Gustavelifting… I understood it was Norma Talmadge who was being given the tour by Sid Grauman and it was poor Norma who made the mis-step. Her square is very prominant in front of the entrance doorway.

William, that is great information! I also have another tidbit concerning Yul Brynner’s square. At the time of the premier for “The King and I”, which also starred Deborah Kerr, it was said the 2 were not on speaking terms and quite angry with each other because each thought they deserved top billing in the film. Yul apparently was asked to come to place his prints first, so he had his ceremony and wrote “THE KING” along the top of his square in huge letters. When Deborah placed her prints in the cement in a separate ceremony a short time later next to his, she wrote “AND I” in letters that were even larger than Yul’s. If that is a true story, it sure is a good one, because after seeing their squares in person, it looks like it could have happend that way. Her “AND I” is absolutely gigantic! Have you heard that one?

uncleal923
uncleal923 on February 8, 2005 at 9:28 pm

According to the play I mentioned earlier, A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD/ A NIGHT IN THE UKRAINE, Grauman got the idea for the footprints when he accidentally stepped back into wet cement while watching the masons laying the pavement. Is that an accurate account? Did they take artistic liberties?