TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 1, 2018 at 4:37 pm

As far as I know neither Raymond Kennedy, chief architect of the Chinese Theatre, nor Donald Wilkinson, head architect of the firm of Meyer & Holler, with whom Kennedy worked closely on the project, ever visited China, but I’m sure Kennedy would have done some study of Chinese design for the project.

Although the theater’s details are Chinese, the building’s form is more European Renaissance, particularly the forecourt. A forecourt is not characteristic of Chinese design. Both Kennedy and Wilkinson were classically trained, and Kennedy was awarded a Diploma as a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, where he studied for three years.

RogerA on April 1, 2018 at 4:12 pm

I don’t think that Sid Grauman ever went to China he just built theaters. Sid built the Egyptian to cash in on the Egyptian revival craze started by discovery of King Tut’s tomb.

moviebuff82 on April 1, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Did the guy who created the Chinese go to China before making this theater?

leowtyx on April 1, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Dome and Chinese has more bad seats, plus that’s not really a great comparison.

Different locations, different theaters, different times, different prices, different parking rates.

RogerA on March 31, 2018 at 6:32 pm

I saw Ready Player One last night looked okay. Not enough base good show great theater. Some people like the 2D version some like the 70mm version and some like the 3D version. The only one the even comes close to filling the theater is the 70mm version in a SMALL theater at the Arclight. There are plenty of seats at the Dome in 3D and plenty of empty seats at the chinese.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on March 28, 2018 at 9:22 pm

Zubi, thanks for the info on the II-III. When I first started traveling and taking pictures of theatres, I snapped a few shots of the lobby of the II-III after it was closed. Had I known they were going to be torn down I would’ve taken more.

They’re at the bottom of our page for it at

leowtyx on March 28, 2018 at 5:47 pm

Would you say Chinese is the only theater that shows IMAX Laser in 2D concurrently with 3D when there’s a 3D blockbuster movie?

RogerA on March 28, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Let’s not forget the reason for building the twins. Star Wars was selling out and they were forced to move it to another theater for six weeks because of a previous booking arrangement. The twins solved that problem for future engagements. With the twins they could kick the dog into a twin and keep the big house for the blockbuster or a new release. All three theaters had Todd-AO 35/70 projectors. And they were a class act.

Zubi on March 28, 2018 at 8:22 am

Scott Neff – The Chinese Twin, as it was called internally within Mann Theatres (Chinese II-III in their directory ad) actually made the entire Chinese Theatres complex back then look much, much more impressive from the street than it looks today. Unlike the current Chinese 6, which is stashed in the back, the Twin was on Hollywood Blvd. and, more importantly, CONTIGUOUS with the original Grauman’s (Chinese I in the Mann directory ad). The place overall then looked and felt like a single, dynamic experience (not the case today). The II-III add-ons were also nice and large. So, no, one did not feel cheated by watching a movie in the II-III (though obviously seeing a movie in the original Grauman’s was best). Just so you know, the II-III often housed busier films because of contractual arrangements. For example, when my friend and I saw “Ghostbusters” for a midnight show at the Chinese in 1984, it was in the II-III—and completely sold out. Meanwhile, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” which had opened a couple weeks before and wasn’t that big of a hit to begin with, was in the original Chinese I with practically no one. I saw this happen more than once. Under Ted Mann, the complex then was also a classier operation with better showmanship. Mann staff wore expensive-looking, red satin tunics with Chinese dragons emblazoned on them. Mann managers wore tuxedos. Now, employees and management all wear whatever. The big theatre’s seating capacity then was more than twice what it is now (thanks to the IMAX retrofit and snack bar encroachment). While Laser IMAX is amazing, there’s simply nothing like watching a movie with two thousand other people. Back then, the Chinese was one of the busiest theatres in this country (even 4am shows sold out for tentpole films). Now, “Star Wars” movies can’t even fill the big theatre on opening weekends—and that’s with the reduced seating capacity. Finally, when you factor in the hawkers, hobos, and costumed characters that have exploded outside, it just ain’t as cool a place as it was in the day. BTW – pictures of the Twin are rare but I just googled and found one at – just scroll down.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on March 26, 2018 at 9:39 pm

Does anybody have any photos or details about the original multiplex that was built to accompany this theatre? And how, historically, does that fit in. Were people irritated if they went to see a movie at the Chinese and they got stuck in the multiplex? Or was it just par for the course at the time?

leowtyx on December 27, 2017 at 11:43 pm

Wouldn’t really make it any better still.

moviebuff82 on December 27, 2017 at 9:34 pm

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

DavidZornig on December 27, 2017 at 4:51 pm

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

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on December 20, 2017 at 7:56 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.

leowtyx on November 20, 2017 at 3:13 pm

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

RogerA on November 20, 2017 at 2:11 pm

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 12:29 pm

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!?

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on October 11, 2017 at 1:51 pm

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 October 11, 2017 at 1:21 pm


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).

Cliffs on October 11, 2017 at 6:13 am

I saw Dunkirk at the Citywalk 70mm IMAX and was surprised (sitting higher in the middle) that the bottom of the screen was cropped at the lower corners by railings and the floor. The screen is so massive it’s hard to notice unless you’re looking for it, but it’s happening.

The thing about the Chinese that makes me crazy is that god*$&m center railing that cuts down the middle of the front. If you’re sitting anywhere within the middle 8-10 seats for about the first 3-4 rows in the back half, that rail pops right up into the screen (and even on the center edge of row K). It’s a massive screw up in the otherwise beautiful IMAX conversion.

leowtyx on October 10, 2017 at 4:16 pm


For True IMAX, You would have a poor viewing distance/angle at lower rows no matter what. By reservation, I mean higher rows.

HowardBHaas on October 6, 2017 at 9:11 pm

You might try harder to spell. “Rows” not rolls. Haas not Hass.

leowtyx on October 6, 2017 at 8:33 pm


“lie-max” still means legitimate IMAX screens, just not the “big ones”, I thought it’s common sense? People do use “True IMAX” to describe “original format”.

Quote from Nolan: “I have been a longtime proponent of film – particularly the Imax film format – as a storytelling medium, the immersive quality of the image is second to none, drawing the audience into the action in the most intense way possible.”

I “actually” sat in multiple rolls and seats at AMC Citywalk and TCL Chinese to calibrate my viewing angle/distance, and I only reserve those seats. If I don’t get those seats, I don’t watch the movies.

I agree some seats are not good, but you did just dismiss the whole theater because of that.


For True IMAX, You would have a poor viewing distance/angle at lower rolls no matter what. By reservation, I mean higher rolls.

HowardBHaas on October 4, 2017 at 9:56 pm

Norton is saying that most of the seats at the Citywalk auditorium with 70mm have poor sightlines. Not a matter to be solved with seat reservations.