TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
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 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 1,610 comments)

leowtyx on October 11, 2017 at 10:21 am


Citywalk: Yeah, and that’s understandable because the screen is actually 1.33:1 instead of 1.43:1, so cropping would have to occur (I sat in 3rd to last row).

Chinese: That’s what I hate too!!!

But it doesn’t really get onto the lighted up screen when the movie’s playing, if you avoid 1st & 2nd row.

I sat in 3rd row to see Blade Runner 2049 and it was at bay (but you do peek at it during the slow parts lol).

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on October 11, 2017 at 10:51 am

I agree on the Chinese center railing. Unfortunately that is a building/safety code requirement. The only way to have avoided it would be not having a center aisle. My favorite seats are the last 3 rows of lower section, right on the center aisle, even with the railing.

leowtyx on November 20, 2017 at 9:29 am

I just saw Justice League, I notice they seem to be shown in ratio 1.89:1.

And since Justice League is 2.35:1 (on imdb), does that means they crop out the sides?! What the heck!?

RogerA on November 20, 2017 at 11:11 am

Justice League is listed as 1:85 on IMDB and like most movies these days it was shot in a variety of formats and used a digital intermediate.

And the center rail at the Chinese is annoying and I don’t like an isle where I want to sit. I am never happy with my seat at the Chinese.

leowtyx on November 20, 2017 at 12:13 pm

damn, I double checked 3 weeks ago when I reserved my seats, it showed 2.35:1…

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on December 20, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Justice League was shot in 1.85:1. Zack Snyder intentionally shot it that way because 1.85:1 will fill 85% of a TrueIMAX screen as opposed to 2:35 sitting smack dab in the center of the screen. Never saw the IMAX version so can’t confirm if any scenes were shot with IMAX cameras.

DavidZornig on December 27, 2017 at 1:51 pm

“Windjammer” premiere April 8, 1958. Photo added courtesy of Mark MacDougal‎.

moviebuff82 on December 27, 2017 at 6:34 pm

Sucks that last jedi didn’t premiere here like the first star wars movie.

leowtyx on December 27, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Wouldn’t really make it any better still.

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