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 1,455 comments)

markinthedark
markinthedark on April 28, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Thanks. Up in Seattle now and I miss the LA Times Theatre ads on Fridays.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on April 28, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I stopped buying the LA Times a couple of years ago. The legendary Calendar section is a pale imitation of its former self. I now get my showtimes and whatnot via the internet like everyone else.

CTCrouch
CTCrouch on April 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm

markinthedark – “So essentially does this mean Pacific/Arclight books and manages the place and splits the profits (if any) with the owners?”

Pacific/Archlight is just the “film buyer” and likely has a marketing deal in place too (i.e. why the Chinese is included in their advertising). The Chinese has its' own management, staff, etc. Many independent operators utilize outside “film buyers”, as there is more leverage through pooling resources (i.e. the more theatres, the greater the buying power). Smaller operators often contract out their purchasing, human resources, etc. for the same reason.

markinthedark
markinthedark on April 28, 2014 at 10:52 pm

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?

CTCrouch
CTCrouch on April 29, 2014 at 8:13 am

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).

RobertAlex
RobertAlex on April 29, 2014 at 1:42 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.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on April 29, 2014 at 8:10 pm

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

Cliffs
Cliffs on May 8, 2014 at 6:58 pm

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.

markinthedark
markinthedark on May 8, 2014 at 11:16 pm

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.

RobertAlex
RobertAlex on May 9, 2014 at 11:39 am

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.

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