“Forgotten Hollywood”- Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Turns 90

Posted on May 18, 2017 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`A symbol of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is turning 90. Today,  known as the TCL Chinese Theatre, the landmark movie palace first opened on May 18th, 1927, and it’s been hosting movies, actors, and fans, ever since. Films such as King Kong, The Wizard of Oz, and Star Wars have all had their premiere at this glamorous locale.

“`Sid Grauman’s masterpiece cinema house stands on a  bustling corner of Hollywood Blvd., next door to the Dolby Theatre where the Oscars are now presented; and across from the historic Roosevelt Hotel, where the first Oscars’ ceremony was held in 1929. A Hollywood take on a Chinese temple, it boasts a pagoda-shaped roof, ornate marble carvings, plus the cement forecourt, filled with celebrity footprints. The theater still hosts dozens of premieres each year, and its iconic footprint forecourt draws an estimated five million tourists annually from around the world. Ticket prices have risen, however. It cost 75 cents to see a movie in 1927. An IMAX 3-D screening today runs $22.75.

“`A showman and entrepreneur, Grauman started building the Chinese Theatre in 1926, the same year he and other Hollywood titans established the  Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  He imagined an elegant and otherworldly cinema palace that would transport visitors to ancient China, with its serene gardens and regal temples.

“`Silent film star Norma Talmadge came to see Sid at his new building on Hollywood Blvd., when she accidentally stepped in wet cement, out front.  Inspiration took hold…  Grauman believed celebrity footprints would be a fun way to promote his new theater.  He welcomed  friends and business partners, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, to purposely put their hands and feet in wet cement, and the tradition was born. More than 300 actors, directors, and producers have followed suit. Alien:  Covenant director Ridley Scott added his prints, recently.

“`There are two time capsules buried beneath the forecourt. The first was planted in 1942 to mark the release of Mrs. Miniver, which won six Oscars. Beneath Greer Garson’s prints is a capsule containing a copy of the script and a 35-milimeter print of the film. A second capsule commemorates the theater’s 50th anniversary. Buried in 1977, it holds a theater ticket, a 16-milimeter print of a Chinese film, and a program from opening night in 1927.

“`The city of Los Angeles declared the splendid theater a historic-cultural monument in 1968. It underwent the biggest renovation in its history in 2013, to create stadium seating, and add a state-of-the-art IMAX screen — the only one in the world with an old-fashioned curtain that opens just before the feature presentation.

“`The company plans to expand the brand around the world, with a San Diego location set to open later this year. But, for countless tourists and celebrities, past and present, the  Chinese Theatre will always stay on Hollywood Boulevard, representing the Golden Age of Cinema.

Until next time>                              “never forget”

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 18th, 2017 at 2:24 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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