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 1,635 comments)

DavidZornig on August 7, 2018 at 8:05 pm

Water and Power Associates link with the Chinese Theatre and photos of other theatres and buildings.

CStefanic on September 14, 2018 at 4:59 pm

I’m just going to say it – what they did with the Grauman Chinese (It will always be the Grauman Chinese to me) was an abomination.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on September 22, 2018 at 1:41 pm

B&W newsreel footage of the Hollywood premiere of “Hell’s Angels” can be viewed here

davidcoppock on October 2, 2018 at 10:30 pm

Theres a scene in the movie “Blazing saddles” showing Mel Brooks going into the theatre, which is screening a premiere of “Blazing saddles”.

LARGE_screen_format on November 4, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Am I correct in thinking this is the best audio and picture quality IMAX screen in the U.S.? Also, the largest.

moviebuff82 on December 7, 2018 at 12:06 pm

Yes. Second place has to be the lincoln square imax, which is an hour away from where i live. I was watching about 45 minutes of Teen Titans Go to the movies, and there’s a cartoon version of the chinese as the superheroes go to the premiere of a superhero movie. It’s also featured in Scooby Doo goes to Hollywood as well.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on December 7, 2018 at 12:34 pm

The Chinese is not the largest screen, I think the record for that is in Sydney, Australia, and I think it is the 3rd largest screen in the US, but the Chinese is easily the largest IMAX theatre by seating capacity at 932, according to In my opinion it is the best audio and picture quality I have experienced. And it is a stunningly beautiful historic theatre too!

LARGE_screen_format on December 7, 2018 at 1:40 pm

AMC Loews 13, Lincoln Square IMAX screen is 100 feet wide by 80 feet high.

TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX screen is 94 feet wide by 46 feet high.

Can anyone confirm if the AMC Metreon 16 IMAX screen is 100 feet wide by 80 feet high or 97 feet wide by 76 feet high?

I believe the above are the three largest IMAX screens in North America unless anyone knows otherwise?

RogerA on December 8, 2018 at 4:37 pm

The Chinese sound system is not the best. The Chinese is a huge space and hard to fill and there are problems with the acoustics. The El Capitan has a much better sound system and is one of the best if not the best in California. The newly renovated Theater at American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood has better sound than the Chinese.

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