TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Grauman's Chinese Theatre

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 annual Oscar presentations.

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 by the architectural firm Blair Ballard Architects 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 1,650 comments)

bigjoe59 on June 13, 2019 at 1:21 pm


to stevenJ thanks for the reply. you’d expect since the exterior was a façade on the Columbia lot they’d at least build one that actually looked like the New Amsterdam Theater.

moviebuff82 on August 24, 2019 at 6:33 am

One of the moviegoers that visited this theater had measles and also visited other landmarks around the LA area, including disneyland and others.

DavidZornig on September 28, 2019 at 1:56 pm

Variety article about the upcoming premiere of “Joker” at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

CF100 on October 15, 2019 at 2:57 pm

“CINITY” projection system installed for the premiere of “Gemini Man” at the Chinese Theatre:

“GEMINI MAN Theatrical Premiere Will Utilize 4K 3D 120fps High Frame Rate Projection”.

The system was developed for Chinese company Huaxia Film, and uses Christie dual laser projection; it is capable of 4K 3D at 120 frames per second, with 28ftL peak screen illumination.

I assume that public screenings were IMAX with Laser?

MSC77 on December 30, 2019 at 3:47 pm

Here is the link to a new “Hello, Dolly!” 50th anniversary retro article featuring a historian Q&A and roadshow chronology (which, of course, includes mention of its lengthy run at the Chinese).

bigjoe59 on December 31, 2019 at 12:00 pm


I own several souvenir programs(140 in fact) and one of my favorites is the one for The House of Rothschild which premiered at this theater. what makes it special is not only is it in mint condition but it contains the special mini program just for the premiere at this theater.

davidcoppock on January 31, 2020 at 8:29 am

This theatre was seen briefly in an episode of Pimp my ride(second season, episode – Sara’s Chevy s10), when drove pass the theatre, near the begining of the episode.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on January 31, 2020 at 9:47 am

bigjoe59, what great collection! I would love to see photos of the House of Rothschild program, or any programs that are from Los Angeles theatres. In fact, if you’re ever interested in donating any, the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation maintains an archive of ephemera related to theatres in L.A. County.

hdtv267 on March 31, 2020 at 6:35 am

So I take a couple years away from this site, hoping the drivel would go away. Nice to see racism is alive and well on here. Good job, moderators.

markp on March 31, 2020 at 3:40 pm

Some things never change.

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