TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Unfavorite 133 people favorited this theater

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 1,504 comments)

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on September 29, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Hey Big Joe, no need to get personal! I love the craziness of Times Square, was just there for the LHAT conference and had a great time! I am just hypothesizing about the reason such a beautiful theatre that is so easy to get to is not full more often.

In my opinion, one of the biggest differences between New York and Los Angeles is the ease of getting around on mass transit. We are just now getting a mediocre transit system and New York has had a great one for decades. We decentralized to the suburbs 30 years ago and it is an uphill battle bringing suburbans back to the historic centers like Hollywood and Downtown, where all of the best historic theaters are.

Things are changing for Los Angeles, we now have a fast growing downtown population, and Hollywood is also going through a huge growth spurt. I think we will see new life for our theaters partially supported by the new younger urban residents. That is part of the current focus of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, getting these new audiences aware of the theatres in their own new neighborhoods. We are working with the Chinese and other theatre owners on special events to raise awareness!

RogerA on October 1, 2014 at 10:33 pm

To answer the questions on screen size pre conversion at the Chinese; the Cinemiracle screen was over 100 feet and was curved. The largest picture using 35mm film scope 2.35 is 65 feet any larger the light required would damage the film. So the masking at the Chinese was set at 65 feet for scope and for 70mm. There has always been a problem getting enough light to fill the huge screen. The IMAX 70mm projector they are going to install for Nolans new film should be bright enough.

bigjoe59 on October 12, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Hello to All-

one of my favorite musicals ever is The King and I which premiered at this theater. to which a question. on the soundtrack album are three tracks/scenes which never appeared in any release of
the film-a)My Lord and Master sung by Tuptim, b)Shall I Tell You What I Think Of You sung by Mrs. Anna and one of the two duets between Tuptim and Long Tu. now for devotees of this film- were those 3 tracks recorded but never filmed or were recorded and filmed but 20th Century Fox for whatever reason in the post-production process decided not to use them. it must have seemed strange at the time for them to release a soundtrack album with songs not in the film. you figure they’d only put songs on the album that were in the film.

20th Century Fox did this again with Carousel which also premiered at this theater in 1956. two songs on the soundtrack album a)You’re A Queer One Julie Jordan and b)Stonecutters Cut It In Stone were never included in any release print of the film. so like The King and I were these two songs recorded but never filmed or were they filmed as well and the footage for whatever reason was never used.

moviebuff82 on October 12, 2014 at 11:01 pm

In less than 3 years the Chinese will be 90 years old….boy how thangs have changed since it opened yet they kept the main auditorium and improved it. I hope it survives for 10 more years for future generations to come…

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on October 12, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Good question. A classic Wikipedia assumption is that the scenes were never filmed, but the comment is based on a NYTimes article which only says they are not included, not that they were never shot! Who knows, maybe they were shot and they will someday be located!

There is precedent for this, with Wizard of Oz jitterbug number for instance.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on October 12, 2014 at 11:23 pm

The TCL Chinese is one of the few theaters in the world to be premiering Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR in 70mm IMAX! Nolan is allowing theaters using film to open the film 2 days before digital houses. Reserved seats are on sale now:

bigjoe59 on October 13, 2014 at 1:19 am

to Escott N.–

as always thank you for your reply. I just read the Wikipedia articles on both films and its still a bit confusing. the site states the 3 songs from The King and I were just recorded but never actually filmed which is confusing. I remember seeing a stills montage to go along with what Deborah Kerr and Marni Nixon recorded for “Shall I Tell…”. so if there are stills from “Shall I Tell….” doesn’t that indicate it was actually shot contradicting what Wikipedia says. i guess the definitive answer would come from Patrick Adriarte who played the King’s oldest son who is I believe the only major cast member of the film still alive.

also the Wikipedia article on Carousel is likewise confusing. it says the two songs i mentioned were left out of the release print of the film because Fox wanted to keep the film at 2hrs. 8mins. they don’t actually say the songs were never filmed which leads me to believe the two songs were in fact shot. I suppose the definitive answer to my query could be asked of Shirley Jones the only major cast member
of the film still alive.

bigjoe59 on October 13, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Hello Again-

i made a big OPPS! in my last post. i said Patrick Adriatre would be the only major cast member of TKAI still with us. so i apologize to Rita Moreno and Rex Thompson for not including them.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on October 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Yes, the amazing Rita Moreno! Unfortunately no connections there. I do know someone who just performed with Shirley Jones so I will ask him if he can ask her.
As for Wikipedia, I do not trust what I read there unless I can confirm via primary sources. That is why I mentioned the NYT article. Lots of inferences and assumptions. I would believe a studio making cuts to keep running time at a certain point though.

bigjoe59 on October 14, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Hello From NYC-

i have a question for my fellow L.A film buffs. this theater is the only one of the grand old movie theaters built in the hayday of such construction that was as built as a 1st run venue and has continued to operate as such since the day it opened. so i was wondering what is the second oldest movie theater in L.A. that was built from the get go as a 1st run venue and as continued to operate as such since the day it opened.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater