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IIRC, the slope of the floor was decreased in 1958 as part of the extensive modifications made to accommodate Windjammer in the Cinemiracle format (along with moving/dropping the projection booth eliminating several back rows of seats, moving the screen further back, adding more rows of seats up in front, etc).
If they increased the angle of the floor back to the way it originally was pre-1958, that would be cool.
You know how you walk down a bunch of steps to enter the auditorium? I’m speculating those steps needed to be added when the slope was decreased.
Any oldtimers here who visited Grauman’s prior to those 1958 modifications who can comment?
Neither the LA Times nor Hollywood Reporter articles linked above today mention a looming ticking time bomb.
My understanding is that to save money, Sid Grauman didn’t purchase the land but instead bought a 99-year lease on which he built his Grauman’s Chinese Theater. And currently a real estate firm CIM owns the land the theater is on (they own Hollywood & Highland next door as well). That lease should be expiring in 13 years or so, and I assume at that point the current lessee (producers Samaha & Kushner) will lose the building to CIM, since they can’t very well pick up and move a historic landmark.
So I’m really encouraged that they are interested in maintaining and upgrading the old place.
And I’m sure CIM doesn’t mind at all the renaming. After all, their next door Dolby Theater was called the Kodak Theater up until last year.
And as one of the the articles points out, it’s not the first renaming. It was “Mann’s Chinese” back in the 80’s and 90’s. I’d bet at some point in the future it will be “Grauman’s Chinese” again.
One note re The Hobbit. According to the ChineseTheatres Facebook page: “It will be showing in 48 fps in Grauman’s and 24 fps in Chinese 6 Theatres”
So if you want to check out Peter Jackson’s new 48 fps HFR 3D technology, get a ticket for the Grauman’s and not a Chinese 6 auditorium showing.
Also note for Los Angelenos who don’t feel like driving to Hollywood, the HFR version (including an IMAX HFR 3D version) is playing in several other theaters in the LA metro area besides Grauman’s.
Wow. I just looked at the ticket page on Arclight’s website.
The 1st screening of ‘The Master’ in 70mm in the Cinerama Dome this Thursday night at MIDNIGHT is SOLD OUT.
It’s kind of amazing for a non-superhero type film to be able to do that. My impression is that ‘The Master’ is more of an art house type film. And especially since it will be screening in The Dome in 70mm for the next 7 days, one of which I will be at.
To dtrigubetz, just curious: I know The Godfather was sold out days in advance, but did it look like every seat was full? Or were there lots of empty/unused seats, since people may have bought up bunches of 25¢ tickets?
FWIW, the Roger Rabbit “Throwback Thursday” was also promoted a few times on their twitter feed over the past couple of weeks. @ElCapitanThtre
Disney really needs to get their marketing act together for the El Capitan.
jsittig: I saw IAMMMMW in 70MM at AMPAS’s Goldwyn Theater in 70mm about a month ago. And during the intermission break, they were playing the police radio transmissions audio over the PA system.
Are they planning on doing that at the upcoming Cinerama Dome screenings (like they did in ‘63 at the premiere at the Dome)?
A @LaemmleTheatres Aug 6th tweet: twitter.com/LaemmleTheatres/statuses/232516170903846913
The Royal in West LA is closed for renovation. Plan to re-open in December. Info: http://ow.ly/cLStI 1944: http://ow.ly/i/Pn0i
The first link in the tweet is to an article interviewing Greg Laemmle, and a description of the changes:
“A smaller screening room with seating for less than 50, a theater with 50-100 seats, and a larger theater with stadium seating for 175-200 will replace the existing 600-seat single screen-theater.”
And the second link is to a 1944 photo when it was called the Tivoli, with “Bathing Beauty” screening.
waynebeau23: Believe it or not the added height is for “an upstairs lounge filled with comfortable Sundance Catalog furniture”
The grand opening is 8-31. With three pre-opening charity events 8/27, 8/28 & 8/29
This is from a July 30th press release that’s currently on their web site here: www.sundancecinemas.com/sunset_insiders_guide.html
“Sundance Cinema’s remodel of the former Sunset 5 theater at Sunset and Crescent Heights Blvd is finally finished. The new decor is pure Sundance: rustic, elegant and comfortable. Sundance Cinemas took the original theatre down to the studs, and have put in the latest digital presentation systems, all reserved stadium seating with plush rockers and tablettes, and rebuilt the lobby to include a Bistro serving classic movie treats, quick and easy snacks and a bar serving beer and wine which may be brought into the theatre during +21 shows. In addition, the experience has been expanded to include an upstairs lounge filled with comfortable Sundance Catalog furniture, and the patio has been annexed as a new outdoor lobby where patrons are invited to chat, drink and eat before or after the show. Programming will specialize in American Independent and foreign language titles”
Also there’s a small photo of the new lobby area under construction taken from the second level looking down.
Jsittig: Thanks! Whoever came up the idea of that water curtain (presumably the 2002 Arclight architects) had a nice idea.
It allows more of the Dome itself and its surface texture to be visible (since the south face is now completely blocked) yet acts as a bit of a deterrent to vandals, posters or graffiti miscreants. Plus on that warm evening the mist it created was nice!
(It’s odd how seldom I typically walk out that way— since the normal routine is to park, go to the theaters, and right back to the parking structure. But a visitor last weekend asked about it and I was stumped.
The tenant (and apparently a good one at that, who spent $1 million (ironically) in renovations) couldn’t make a go of it.
Too bad the corporation that owns the theater didn’t reduce the rent so that tenant could’ve hung on.
Any guesses on its future? Back to being leased again by some fringe church?
“Million Dollar Operator Terminates Lease”
“After six years of running the Million Dollar Theater, Robert Voskanian, the 1918 venue’s operator since 2007, terminated his lease on the property in June.
Voskanian said that despite holding events like concerts, a Wednesday night film series in partnership with the UCLA Film Archive and renting the venue for filming, they were still not making enough money to cover their bills.
“I love the place, it’s gorgeous and it really broke my heart but financially it was too difficult,” he said.
When Voskanian took over the property the theater had been vacant for about two years. Before that it had served as the headquarters for two churches and once housed the Metropolitan Water District.“
full article: www.ladowntownnews.com/news/million-dollar-operator-terminates-lease/article_cd24e73e-d81d-11e1-a1d1-0019bb2963f4.html
Visited the Dome over the weekend and am curious about something. On the outside around the western perimeter area is a sort of curtain of falling water decoration.
Is that original with the Dome, or was that added when they built the Arclight building surrounding the rest of it.
After the San Ysidro McDonald’s 1984 massacre (21 dead, 19 injured), McDonald’s tore down the building, created a memorial to the victims, and donated the land to the city.
(They later built another outlet nearby)
Cinemark should really consider following that example.
dtrigubetz, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your alert 3 days ago to the special Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation’s (lahtf.org) tour this weekend of Grauman’s Chinese.
On a whim I went, and that was by far the best $20 I’ve spent in ages. (By comparison, the regular “tour” offered daily to tourists by the theater is a waste).
They took us into many non-public areas such as: all backstage and behind the screen, and then down into the massive green room in the basement, and up into Sid Grauman’s private viewing box, and a peek into his office (occupied by the current manager). And even the open areas have many “hidden” features until pointed out by the expert guides.
I overheard that about 150 people were there Saturday,(we were broken up into 11 more manageable smaller groups).
Finally at the end, we all seated in a Chinese 6 auditorium and got an excellent slide show talk about the history of the theater and of Sid Grauman.
If LAHTF ever offers this tour again, I would recommend making the trip to Hollywood for it. I would definitely repeat the tour in the future. They have a Facebook page and posted several photos.
Also, a blogger went on the tour with his video camera and put together a 3 minute video (which actually covers only some of the tour) and put it on his post:
Some Like It Hot, June 1, is at the Grauman’s Chinese. HOWEVER, the other six nights of the “Marilyn Monroe Film Festival” are in the Chinese 6 theatres, NOT in the big Grauman theater I believe .
The nomenclature is always tricky with this theater.
“Grauman’s Chinese” to me refers to the awesome 1927 theater, and not to the generic multiplex “Chinese 6” built next to it in the late 90’s.
What year was it that the Avco got subdivided up into 4 screens?
To the Cinema Treasures operators:
Historical info of thissort always used to be in the overview descriptions at the top of the page for theaters, but seems to have been deleted in many cases with the recent site redesign for some reason… Why?
For that matter, this overview doesn’t even include basics like the year built or opened…
An interesting article: “Archive screens film classics in historic downtown movie palace” from UCLA Today Jan 19,2012.
Unfortunately it says that they’re only typically getting 200 people in attendance.
Hope this weekly UCLA programming series can survive…
Here’s a blog post with a photo taken from inside the Million Dollar projection booth during the 1/25 Paths of Glory show.
Way off, you can see Kirk Douglas on the screen
Does anyone know anything about the “Graumans Chinese Theatre Tour” that the new operation has recently started up?
It’s probably not worth the $13.50 price, but I assume it likely includes normally non-public areas, and I was curious what that might be.
One odd thing is they’re scheduled frequently through the day- all during the times a film is playing.
And I would think you can’t really have a tour group and its guide tramping through the auditorium while a movie is screening. Hopefully not.
Grauman’s Chinese still must be making lots of money from film premieres and events like that.
It seems like just about everytime I’m in the area that block of Hollywood Blvd is closed off in front of it!
Confirmed: it’s up for sale: http://la.curbed.com/archives/2011/12/majestic_crest_for_sale_bananas_bel_air_design_auction.php
“The single-screener has 460 seats, crazy blacklight murals, and historic-cultural monument status (so it probably can’t be torn down).
The sellers are asking $4.5 million or $16,000 per month for a triple net lease.”
That area is really sad now. Avco Center is closed, the enormous Borders Books a block away is shuttered, and this wonderful theater seems doomed.
For the record, this was what Laemmle’s Sunset 5 had programmed yesterday on their final day 11-29-2011:
Another Happy Day 1:30pm 7:00pm
Elite Squad – The Enemy Within 1:20pm 7:10pm
The Skin I Live In 1:00pm 3:50pm 7:00pm 9:40pm
London Boulevard 4:10pm 9:55pm
Rampart 1:50pm 4:30pm 7:20pm 10:00pm
Melancholia 1:00pm 4:00pm 7:00pm 10:00pm
Tyrannosaur 4:20pm 9:50pm
Here is yesterday’s Laemmle facebook goodbye:
And this FB post with a link to info on the closure: www.facebook.com/laemmletheatres/posts/10150432339263276
Their website culverplazatheatres.com does show the current movies playing through Thursday 12-1.
Of course a website always can be in error, and the theater might well be closed Sunday night at close of business.
I kind of agree with other comments that “closed for renovations” seems to be a euphemism for “closed indefinitely”.
1) For years the prior owner seemed to have some sort of arrangement with Disney, because Disney product always seemed to be playing at the Majestic Crest. Maybe that relationship could be resurrected…
2) Or this: The description above says “Opened … as the Westwood Theatre a live theatre.”
Does anyone know if its old backstage areas and dressing rooms are still intact? Maybe it could be survive by converting back to a live theater.
3) Unthinkable to twin or tri-plex it- the unique cityscape interior wall artwork, which is what makes it so special, would be destroyed. (Plus it has historical designation).
4) So the “Singafest Asian Film Festival” runs through Oct 2nd. After that, will it be sayonara to The Majestic Crest? (which I prefer over “Bigfoot Crest”)
In response to a suggestion on their Facebook page of having later screenings, Laemmle replied: “Unfortunately, Beverly Hills municipal code prohibits us from starting movies after 10pm.” That’s not a great help when trying to entice younger movie goers.
Plus BH’s parking rules and enforcement are Draconian.
It’s terrific Laemmle got a one year lease reprieve. But I’d bet the landlord is just buying time until the economy turns around to put retail/office space there.