TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Hollywood,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Chinese Theatre is arguably the most famous movie theatre in the world. It opened as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on May 18, 1927 with Cecil B. DeMille’s “The King of Kings” starring H.B. Warner and a stage prologue “Glories of the Scripture” which had a cast of 200. Seating was provided for 2,200, all on a single sloping floor (apart from a private box located at the rear, to the left of the projection box overhanging the rear orchestra seating). The theatre was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 17 ranks theatre organ which was opened by organist Frederick Burr Scholl, and accompanied the 65-piece symphony orchestra conducted by Constantine Bakaleinikoff. The Chinese Theatre has been the site of thousands of movie premieres and the destination of millions of tourists. Scores of celebrities have left their footprints, hand prints and hoof prints on the walkways near and on the theatre’s courtyard.

In 1973, Mann Theatres bought the Chinese Theatre. Two auditoriums, each seating 750, were added next to the Chinese Theatre, turning the theatre into a triplex operation from April 12, 1979. In 2000, the two added auditoriums were razed to make way for the construction of the Kodak Theatre — the new site of the Oscars.

In 2001, the original 1927 built Chinese Theatre underwent a renovation to return its exterior to its original design and Mann Theatres, in late-2001, also added an adjoining 6-screen multiplex theatre, designed by the architectural firm Behr Browers Architects of Westlake, CA. Seating capacities in the six new screens are: 459, 177, 177, 177, 177, 279.

Still opulent in red tonality and Asiatic influences, the main original auditorium of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre remains the ultimate movie palace experience, and now seats 1,162.

In August 2009, Mann Theatres announced they were planning to put the Chinese Theatre up ‘For Sale’, and it was sold to an independent operator in April 2011. In January 2013, the naming rights were sold to television manufacturer Television China Ltd., and it was renamed TCL Chinese Theatre.

The main original auditorium was closed at the end of April 2013. Renovations to turn the historic auditorium into a 986-seat IMAX theatre, with a 46 foot tall x 94 foot wide screen were completed on September 15, 2013 when the world premiere of the updated 1939 classic movie “The Wizard of Oz-3D” was screened on the giant IMAX screen.

Recent comments (view all 1,467 comments)

CTCrouch
CTCrouch on January 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm

bigjoe59 – There has been a noticeable increase in business. Still far short of the levels the theatre should be doing/once did, but movement in a positive direction, none the less. Just having decent bookings once again has helped.

As for Arclight booking the Chinese complex; it’s not all that surprising. There are many small operators that utilize larger chains and co-ops for bookings, purchasing, etc.It’s a win-win for both sides, as greater numbers mean greater buying power.

Cliffs
Cliffs on January 16, 2014 at 1:35 am

bigjoe59… there has certainly been an increase in business as well as a decent turnover in films. The biggest problem with the Chinese right now (and this is going to sound strange) is that very few people know about it. When Mann started dumping off theaters and the Chinese lost what little booking power it had to Arclight and the El Capitan, a lot of people (myself included) kind of abandoned the theater. Not because I really wanted to, but because it wasn’t the (overall) best place to see a movie anymore. There was no reserved seating and (worst of all) usually nothing of interest to see there. I can honestly say that in the past 5 years I’d only gone to Grauman’s to see Fast and Furious, District 9, Clash of the Titans, Predators, McGruber, Harry Potter 7.2, and X-Men: First Class (I didn’t even attend one single movie there in all of 2012). So that’s 7 movies in 5 years. Since the IMAX conversion I’ve been there at least once a month (going again tonight to see Jack Ryan, which will be my 5th trip there in 4 months). But that’s us here on CT. I don’t think the public at large is really aware of the changes. It was painful and sad to watch the Dome pack itself rather quickly for Catching Fire while the Chinese was half to half+ full. But I think (hope) that people are becoming more aware and we’ll see what happens this summer, which will have Spider-Man, Godzilla, Edge of Tomorrow, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Transformers 4, Jupiter Ascending, and Into the Storm giving them plenty of product to choose from.

robboehm
robboehm on February 12, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Ad from March 14, 1935 upload in the photos section announcing that Shirley Temple would appear to leave her handprints that evening. The film, The Little Colonel, had opened at the Chinese, and also at the downtown Loew’s State, the day before.

wired4sound
wired4sound on February 13, 2014 at 6:11 am

Here’s a link to a photo of Miss Temple’s cement block. At the time of signing, she was a month away from her seventh birthday: seeing-stars

CTCrouch
CTCrouch on April 2, 2014 at 3:53 pm

They’ve almost finished the box office remodel. While still in the same location (adjacent to Hollywood Blvd. sidewalk), it is now much more prominent and wraps around the corner, in to a street side entry (entrance which provides access to the escalator on the right and Grauman’s on the left). A definite upgrade from the somewhat inconspicuous configuration which existed previously.

RobertAlex
RobertAlex on April 3, 2014 at 8:58 am

The Chinese and the Chinese 6 movie times are listed under Pacific Theaters in the LA Times now.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on April 12, 2014 at 4:14 pm

That makes sense since ArcLight books them.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on April 13, 2014 at 11:57 am

I didn’t know Pacific Theaters still existed I thought it was an extinct chain RobertAlex.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on April 13, 2014 at 9:08 pm

It’s Mann Theatres that is extinct, not Pacific.

Zubi
Zubi on April 14, 2014 at 9:28 am

There’s still Mann Theatres of Minnesota (Ted Mann’s brother’s chain). http://manntheatres.com

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