TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Showing 1 - 25 of 1,552 comments

zangwill
zangwill on June 8, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Hi Escott O. Norton,

Thank you so much for your suggestions. I booked the middle one in row P. Hope it would be fine.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 8, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Hello-

to Escott N. thanks for your thoughts on the subject. but I am still a bit perplexed as to why Coate referred to the Chinese as a “neighborhood house in its early years”. to New Yorkers a neighborhood house is a 2nd/3rd run theater in the Bronx,Queens,Brooklyn or Staten Island that would play a film after its had exhausted its 1st run engagements in Manhattan.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on June 8, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Big Joe, I’m not sure what Coate is talking about, a quick stroll through Kurt’s wonderful site shows that the Chinese has always been the home for premieres and 1st run engagements. Maybe Coate has an alternate definition for “neighborhood house”?

Zangwill, My favorites are the center aisle seats, top few rows of the lower section. I’ve also seen movies as far forward as the 4th row from the front. If you like to be close, I wouldn’t go much closer that the 4th or 5th row.

Last night I was part of a fantastic event at the Chinese. Cinespia and LA Historic Theatre Foundation collaborated on a special double feature of Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 as a benefit for the LAHTF. We sold out the event, and the Chinese graciously supported the event from the very start, even closing off the Forecourt for a private party before and between the movies. Disney and the El Capitan were also very generous in making the event a success. I will post a link to pictures later.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 8, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Hello From NYC-

does anyone know what Coate means by “the Chinese was a neighborhood house too for much of its early life”. any help would be appreciated. when was the Chinese ever not a 1st run venue?

zangwill
zangwill on June 8, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Does anybody knows what’s the best seat for watching IMAX in the TCL Chinese Theatre?

Wahlner
Wahlner on May 31, 2015 at 2:40 pm

Dear Mark in the Dark:

Thank you for the juice. Every great old theatre deserves a web site like this one – but only the Chinese will get one!

Alas, I have no interest in the Chinese Twins or the 6 plex, worthy though they may be. There is only one Maltese Falcon!

I might some day, but I have to construct something on the forecourt first! Projectors are more interesting to me.

markinthedark
markinthedark on May 31, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Kurt – Nice site. Any plans on adding a little history of the demolished twins or the 6-plex?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 31, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Hello Again From NYC-

thanks to my fellow posters for their replies about the Chinese’s history. a number of grand old movies theaters built during the prime 1914-1941 period are alive and well. for instance the Castro Theater in San Francisco. the theater opened the last week of Sept. 1922 and has been in continual operation ever since but it was built from the get go as a 2nd/3rd run neighborhood theater. so apparently of all the grand old theaters built in prime period noted above that were built from the get
go as 1st run venues the Chinese is the only one that has continued to operate as such since the day it opened.

Wahlner
Wahlner on May 31, 2015 at 8:12 am

I like to think that the Chinese holds the distinction for being the last of the 1920s film palaces to still be showing “First Run” commercial releases on a regular basis. “First Run” has become a somewhat slippery term in the last few decades, but the Chinese has always been a “First Run” theatre in the sense that they play films on their initial release.

From 1935 to 1953, the Chinese played many double features it is true, but always day-and-date with other theatres as “First Run” just as they do today.

The Fox Westwood Village Theatre is a very nice (!) neighborhood house, and played “A Free Soul” after the Chinese had the “First Run” in late June, 26, 1931, in a period when Grauman was on the outs with Fox West Coast Theatres, so there was no premiere or prologue:

http://www.graumanschinese.org/1931.html#free

I define 1920s film palace as having a stage, a pipe organ, and more than 2,000 seats. The Chinese had all of these. Hollywood’s Egyptian qualifies under these definitions, but I discount it due to the fact that it was idle for such a long period. How it has been remodeled or what they show there is beside the point. They show movies there still.

However, the Chinese reigns, I think, as the last of the Film Palaces to still be open, and showing commercial releases (however one defines “First Run”) every day. Well, most days.

Kurt Wahlner, Editor, http://www.graumanschinese.org

hdtv267
hdtv267 on May 30, 2015 at 5:25 pm

I concur with bigjoe. I fail to see the Chinese ever being a “neighborhood house”, If you have some evidence to the contrary, please do present it. I’m sure a lot of those who keep populating the comments on this particular venue would love to read those.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 30, 2015 at 12:52 pm

The reconfiguration of the main auditorium of the Chinese Theatre for IMAX was designed by the Laguna Beach, California, architectural firm Blair Ballard Architects. There is one photo of the auditorium in the slide show on this page of the firm’s web site. Francis X. Bushman would barely recognize the place.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 25, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Hello-

I am a bit confused. I always thought the Chinese was built as a 1st run venue from the get go. after all it held the premiere of Demille’s “The King of Kings” May 18, 1927. so what does Coate mean by referring to the Chinese as a neighborhood theater during its early years? granted Hollywood is a neighborhood to the people who live there but that does not make the Chinese a “neighborhood” theater in the accepted sense of the term.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 25, 2015 at 12:55 am

The first movie shown at the Fox Westwood Village when it opened on August 14, 1931, was A Free Soul, which had premiered in New York City on June 2 and opened in other cities later that month.

Coate
Coate on May 24, 2015 at 2:07 pm

The Chinese was a neighborhood house, too, for much of its early life.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 24, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Hello Again From NYC-

I thank Coate for his input on the subject. so it seems that when the Village and Bruin first opened like the Uptown in D.C. they were essentially neighborhood theaters and only became “1st run” venues decades later. so it seems that the Chinese is the only grand old movie theater built in the 1914-1941 heyday that was a 1st run venue from the get go and has continued to operate as such since the day it opened.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 24, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Hello Again From NYC-

I thank Coate for his input on the subject. so it seems that when the Village and Bruin first opened like the Uptown in D.C. they were essentially neighborhood theaters and only became “1st run” venues decades later. so it seems that the Chinese is the only grand old movie theater built in the 1914-1941 heyday that was a 1st run venue from the get go and has continued to operate as such since the day it opened.

Coate
Coate on May 24, 2015 at 1:41 pm

I believe the Village and Bruin were, essentially, “neighborhood” houses during the initial decades of their existence. I don’t think they became “first-run” (depending on how one defines such) until the 1970s when the prime L.A. booking zones shifted from downtown & Beverly Hills to Hollywood & Westwood/Century City.

Cliffs
Cliffs on May 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Hmmm… that would certainly be a question for Michael Coate. He’d be the one most likely to know. Let me see if I can get him here.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 24, 2015 at 11:02 am

Hello Again from NYC-

I thank Cliffs for the info on the Village and Bruin in Westwood. to which I have another question. if I understand your comment correctly the Village and the Bruin which opened in 1931 and 1937 were built from the get go as 1st run venues and have operated as such since the day they opened? the reason I ask is simple. I thought the Uptown in D.C. which is a 1st rum venue and been one since it opened in 1936. but it opened as 2nd/3rd run neighborhood theater and only reinvented itself as a 1st run venue with the dawn of the modern roadshow era in Oct. of 1955 with Oklahoma.

RogerA
RogerA on May 23, 2015 at 5:05 am

I wouldn’t call the Bruin a grand old theatre, old maybe but not grand.

I did go to see Interstellar in 70mm IMAX at Grauman’s Looked good the few scenes shot in IMAX. Those rails for the handicapped need to be lowered. And the only reason I went was because of the 70mm IMAX I am still waiting for a movie that is worth going to see so I can check out the laser. Why are they showing stuff shot or mastered in 2K? Arri has a new camera with a 65mm sensor that is higher res than 4K. These IMAX video films that are mastered or shot in 2k look horrible. The blowups from 35mm to IMAX looked bad too. I went to see an IMAX film at Universal when they had the 70MM it was one of the worst blowups from a 35mm (probably 3 perf) The grain and image quality was bad and inconstant some stuff was real bad and this was a major film with Depp. Oh yea the Cinerama film I saw recently had the same problem. Some stuff was shot in Cinerama but the action scenes were shot in Ultra Panavison. There was a big difference in quality. Henry Plitt said it best, “Blow up sh!t and you get big sh!t” I met him when he was testing Showscan at the Cinerama Dome. I can get 2K at home.

Saw How The West Was Won In Cinerama

Cliffs
Cliffs on May 23, 2015 at 12:36 am

I would think the Village and Bruin theaters, both in Westwood, would qualify. The Village opened in 1931 and the Bruin in 1937. Both still show first run films (the Village currently has Mad Max and the Bruin has Tomorrowland).

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 21, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Hello to Cliffs-

thanks for your informative reply. another question I hope you can help me with. I discovered this wonderful website the last week of January 2012. after browsing it briefly I created a project for myself. the Golden Age of building grand old movie theaters was approx. 1914 thru 1941. this is what I set out to look for. how many such theaters that were built from the get go as 1st run venues have continued to operate as such. so far the only theater i have found that was built during this period as a 1st run venue and has continued to operate as such since the day it opened is the Chinese. is that possible?

Cliffs
Cliffs on May 19, 2015 at 4:41 pm

bigjoe59- Yeah, I saw the 8pm Thursday showing of Catching Fire at the Chinese (first showing ever) and it was barely half full. It’s certainly picked up since then. I think a lot of people had abandoned the Chinese when it wasn’t showing much (and also, truth be told, it ended up being a bit too tourist-y for most locals, who instead were more inclined to go to the less hectic Arclight and Grove). The average movie-goer probably hadn’t seen a film there in several years. I’m a massive movie-goer and had probably only been there 6 times in the 5 years before the conversion (I went twice in 2011 and didn’t even step foot inside there in 2012). Catching Fire was only two months after the re-opening and I just don’t think anyone knew about it.

The other thing to remember is that no one uses a newspaper anymore for showtimes and the Chinese didn’t fall under some larger corporation, so to find out what was playing at the Chinese, you had to seek it out. The showtimes weren’t sitting there across from the Pacific ad or under the AMC times. That’s another reason I think it took a little while to get the word out. As I said, I think the fact that they specifically installed a 70mm film projector for Interstellar got the theater a lot of eyeballs again. There was a lot of press that they were doing this and I think it put the Chinese back on people’s radar.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 19, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Hello Again From NYC-

thanks to Danny B. for your reply. the reason I asked if the attendance had picked up all that much after the IMAX redo is simple. in Nov. of 2013 two months after the conversion was unveiled Catching Fire opened. now as you know CF is tied with Iron Man 3 as the highest grossing film of 2013. but a regular at the Chinese went to see CF with two friends the Sun. after the film opened. he stated on this page that it was an afternoon showing and was shocked the theater was at the absolute most 10% full.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 19, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Hello Again From NYC-

thanks to Danny B. for your reply. the reason I asked if the attendance had picked up all that much after the IMAX redo is simple. in Nov. of 2013 two months after the conversion was unveiled Catching Fire opened. now as you know CF is tied with Iron Man 3 as the highest grossing film of 2013. but a regular at the Chinese went to see CF with two friends the Sun. after the film opened. he stated on this page that it was an afternoon showing and was shocked the theater was at the absolute most 10% full.