Hollywood’s Famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater sold

posted by JodarMovieFan on September 5, 2007 at 8:00 am

CIM Group of Los Angeles, reportedly one of Hollywood’s largest commercial landlords has purchased Grauman’s Chinese Theater for an undisclosed sum of money. There are no plans to stop showing films there as Mann Theaters has a long term lease and plans to continue its operation.

For more details, read the AP News.

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Comments (24)

William on September 5, 2007 at 9:17 am

The ground lease expires in the year 2023.

RayKaufman on September 5, 2007 at 10:29 am

I’m told it’s pretty common knowledge within the L.A. ‘preservation’ community that when Mann’s lease is up, the end of the Chinese occurs. That’s only almost 15 years from now. Not a long time in the overall scheme.

markinthedark on September 5, 2007 at 11:21 am

Why would the end of the Chinese occur? It’s a pretty popular tourist attraction.

William on September 5, 2007 at 11:33 am

More people go to see the footprints in the front of the theatre then go to see a movie inside. I think the Chinese will be save and making money long after that, showing movies who knows. Turned into a retail who knows.

markinthedark on September 5, 2007 at 11:39 am

Has any other theatre chain ever thought of taking over Mann Theatres? Mann seems to be dying a slow death. In the 9 years I have lived in Los Angeles their numbers of screens has been cut by about half. Perhaps there is a exhibitor out their that might want to buy Mann for some of their prestigious locations and breath some life into them. Pacific would seem to be a good fit. Perhaps AMC would like a prestigious location like the Chinese or Village?

JoelWeide on September 5, 2007 at 12:06 pm

Your right the chain appears to be dying a slow death. I do not believe that they have opened anything new in some time. I was under the impression that Paramount owned the Mann orgainzation, (please feel free to correct me if I am wrong,) it would seem that with the prestigious theatres that they currently operate that someone would be highly interested what is left of it.

William on September 5, 2007 at 12:23 pm

Mann Theatres sold it to Paramount/Warner, around that time the parent companies named the chain CineAmerica (or something like that). Then Paramount/Warner sold the chain to a group, which ran the chain. Till they were going to file Chapter 11 and was sold back to Paramount/Warner.

bruceanthony on September 5, 2007 at 2:04 pm

The Chinese theatre is safe and Im glad that the CIM group has bought it since they own Hollywood and Highland next door and are looking to the future of Hollywood proper. The only interest that Warner Bros and Paramount have in the Mann Theatre chain are the industry houses such as the Chinese,Village and Bruin. The great Fox West Coast Theatre Chain that these theatres belonged to at one time no longer exists. I wish Warner Bros and Paramount would sell off the rest of the chain and keep these premiere theatres, as the large theatre chains wouldn’t know how to run single screen theatres anymore. I can’t picture Regal,AMC and Cinemark taking good care of these theatres. Pacific would be the logical choice since they are a regional chain but that would give them a monoploy in Hollywood not that it matters anymore since Megaplex theatres contain 14 thru 30 screens per complex. The Chinese is a protected Landmark and is used for many industry premieres so the theatre is very safe.brucec

markinthedark on September 5, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Perhaps WB/Paramount could sell the chain with a contingency that they maintain rights to hold premieres at the Chinese, Village and Bruin and that they get to book a percentage of their films there.

KramSacul on September 5, 2007 at 8:20 pm

An AMC Grauman’s Chinese? Oh god, no.

markinthedark on September 5, 2007 at 8:39 pm

Better than Regal’s Grauman’s Chinese. Kidding. Really, I don’t wish for an AMC Chinese. Just some company robust enough to handle these great theatres. (AMC does book the Cinerama in Seattle, although their ad listing shows it as the “Cinerama 1”. Perhaps a little too multiplex oriented??) Pacific would be a great match. They are robust, agressive and a fixture in LA exhibition, and they kind of get it. I just don’t see Mann being around forever.

JoelWeide on September 5, 2007 at 9:48 pm

The newspaper article indicated that two hopsitals owned the Chinese. Can someone shead some of their insight on what a hospital is doing with this theatre?

RayKaufman on September 6, 2007 at 7:05 am

The last question is easy to answer and even easier to understand if one’s spent any time in southern California. It’s called “investment.” Real estate is an incredibly lucrative investment in SoCal. Even moreso when one realizes that in Calif., real estate is the ground, not the building – which can be improved, demolished, retrofitted or picked up and moved. Land is King in this neck of the woods. And equity, the queen.

On another note, CIM developed the next door Hollywood and Highland project and have long been eager to acquire another piece of the block to complete the “square” per se. As an olde preservation-minded friend once said, preservationists preserve and developers develope. Seldom do their interests run down the same road. Put another way, with a different twist, developers make their money by building and selling. They have no interest in being operators or investors. They create and sell and move on to the next project. For a prime example of what I mean, check into the recent history of that preservation-minded community a few miles from the Chinese, Pasadena and their currently gutted Raymond Theatre. After years of fighting an incredibly long, ardous and valient effort – the condos are rising.

And lastly, the Chinese is now a six-screen complex, rather than the main house and two side-by-side storefront theatres that it became in the sixties.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on September 7, 2007 at 10:04 am

Mark Campbell’s comment that “Mann’s are dying a slow death” is so true. They’ve had their fun and now it’s time for them to get out of Show Business and let some who loves it take over NOW.

I must add that giving tours of the Chineese Theatre auditorium WHILE a movie is running? I could hear the nattering guide better than the sound track, even after complaining twice.

This is no different a story than what transpired in San Francisco with the Blumenfeld Brothers. They also operated countless theaters and gave them up one by one, even the infamous Castro Theatre.

I tend to like L.A’s local, smaller and more personalized Krikorian theaters operation. As for AMC, Regal/UA, etc., I need to vomit!

markinthedark on September 7, 2007 at 10:08 am

I do hear Mann is building an Arclight-like place in Thousand Oaks.

JodarMovieFan on September 7, 2007 at 6:13 pm

Simon, you must be joking when you state they have tours during movie shows. That’s so inconsiderate and annoying. I know in some theaters even the popcorn machine popping can be annoying to those places that still pop their own corn.

I haven’t been to LA since ‘01 and am sure the place is a lot different now because they were still building the surrounding shopping center and six new theaters.

I did happen to watch a forgettable Angelina Jolie movie that I put me to sleep ;) They had closed the upper part of the theater for remodeling at the time.

KramSacul on September 7, 2007 at 8:11 pm

I’ve never seen a tour go thru the auditorium during a show. That must be a day time thing.

Did the Chinese Theater ever close during the refurb? It must have since all the seats were replaced.

goldenage on September 9, 2007 at 11:34 am

Love reading this message board. I think Grauman’s Chinese is one of our national treasures and I am totally fascintated by it’s history.I attended a private upscale estate auction some years ago where I purchased a fascinating art deco chinese motif cast iron, bronze and brass standing floor ashtray that I was told was once in the lobby of Grauman’s Chinese in the 40’s to 50’s. I could not get much information on the gentleman that owned the piece at the time but I do know that it was accompanied by a b/w vintage photo of Cary Grant putting out a cigarette in the very same astray. Even tho I thought this was a fabulous extra I bought the piece as it is a fabulous very early art deco work of art. As I collect antiques I had only seen one other one like it before but it was plain cast and brass and not decortrated and painted in the fabulous chinese motif that this one is so I am inclined and want to believe it is the actual piece from the theatre. I have tried to find picture from the lobby from that era and cannot locate any photos that would help me.. I made a phone call years ago and spoke to someone at the theatre and when I described the ashtray to them they told me that there was indeed a pair of these in the lobby at one time. It appeared to be custom painted and decorated in the chinese motif and unlike the other one I had seen. I was wondering if anyone here might have any information on how to get more information on something like this or anyone who might have any places to reference. The piece stands about 31" tall and has a large green cast iron dragon towering over a red iron ashbox with a flip lid that held the lit cigarettes. the standing stem is solid brass and is gold ribbed with a black cast iron base. Although I have the Cary photo (awesome!)I would love to have more history.

jerris63 on November 15, 2007 at 10:06 am

I heard that Krikorian Premiere Theatres was negociating a deal to buy 9 Mann Theatres.

markinthedark on November 15, 2007 at 10:09 am

isn’t that all thats pretty much left? Any ideas which ones?

jerris63 on November 15, 2007 at 10:32 am

I know that Grauman’s was one of the Theatres that they were negotiating for and they wanted the property also, which included the footprints, which obviously CMI bought. I am not sure but out of the 16 in California, they were going to buy all, with Mann’s still operating 8, while they are in the process of closing down the one’s that Mann’s will still operate.

markinthedark on November 15, 2007 at 10:38 am

where did you find this news? is it online?

jerris63 on November 15, 2007 at 10:48 am

It is not online, it came out of the corporate office of Krikorian Theatres, they have been negotiating for wuite a few months, since the beginning of the year.

markinthedark on November 15, 2007 at 11:55 am

in essence are they buying out Mann’s profitable theatre and is Mann shuttering the rest?

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