Grauman’s Chinese Theatre sold

posted by Chris Utley on April 29, 2011 at 8:00 am

HOLLYWOOD, CA — The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the legendary Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (and its sister theatre the Chinese 6 located in the Hollywood & Highland Center) has been sold to 2 movie producers.

Neither Samaha nor Kushner were immediately available to discuss their plans for the theater, but one person familiar with the matter said the theater will continue to screen movies and host premieres and that the new owners plan to upgrade food and beverage services.

The sale involves the Grauman’s building only and not the land the theater sits on, which in 2007 was sold to the CIM Group, which owns the Hollywood and Highland complex and other commercial properties in Hollywood.

UPDATE 4/29 2:30PM: This story in Hollywood Elsewhere discusses some rumors regarding the future of the Chinese.

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Comments (17)

hillsmanwright on April 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm

The LA Historic Theatre Foundation has been assured by sources close to the new lessees that the nightclub rumors are untrue, that the Chinese will once again become the premier place for premieres. We’ve been disappointed before, nevertheless, it’d be better to actually find out what’s in store rather than speculate. You can be sure there’ll be a lot of folks dedicated to Hollywood and theatre history watching this one closely. Stay tuned for late-breaking developments…

neeb on April 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Might as well get a can of kerosene and some matches ready… (yes, I’m aware this post will come back to haunt me at my arson trial).

moviebuff82 on April 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm

The Chinese Theatre is the most famous movies-only theater in the world, with its famous exterior resembling a chinese palace. It has been parodied in cartoons and other forms of media, and I hope the new owners continue to preserve the heritage of this great movie palace for years to come.

BradE41 on April 29, 2011 at 5:02 pm

The new owners truly seem to not give a damn. They are evil trolls who want to just make hot cash. Sad…and pathetic. We all better get to the Chinese fast, take pics and see a film. These people are going to destroy it.

KingBiscuits on April 30, 2011 at 12:54 am

I thought Elie Samaha was in jail for money laundering and fraud.

Twistr54 on April 30, 2011 at 3:14 pm

The thought of this makes me want to puke……………

terrywade on May 1, 2011 at 9:55 am

We hope the new owners will bring back the color lights in the ceiling and enlarge the curved CinemaScope screen that the Mann gang never opened the masking to the full height and width. Please use the giant curtains and bring in some showmanship and live stage shows like across the street does at the Disney El Capitain Theatre. Also bring back at least one of the neon dragons that is still working in storage the Mann people removed to make the front look dull and with no color or life. Time to turn on all the color lights outside and spotlights at night to make the Chinese Theatre a star again in Hollywood. Will the new owners run the back little shoe box cinemas as movie cinemas and turn the huge Grauman’s Chinese Theatre into a plush Hollywood nightclub? I must tell you if movies fail to bring a crowd the nightclub thing may save the place for locals and tourists. Turn up the disco surround sound and laser lights and make Grauman’s come to life for a new generation to enjoy. Movies or a nightclub format we are so glad the Chinese will still stay open.

CTCrouch on May 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm

As i pointed out on Grauman’s CT page, the rumor involves the Chinese 6 being converted to a nightclub, not Grauman’s. The only alleged changes to Grauman’s, thus far, have been expanded food service and moving towards mixed use; which suggests the theatre would have it’s stage back.

William on May 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm

With that they would have to rebuild the stage area and remove the THX sound wall and re-rig the stage and put a smaller screen in to get it back to do anything other than movies.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on May 2, 2011 at 7:56 pm

There are many weeks the main auditorium grosses well below $3,000 for the week …

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on May 3, 2011 at 10:39 am

Terry Wade… I’ve often read some of your other sensible comments but with what you state above, running the world’s most famous theater as a “nightclub”… That’s like converting a church into a brothel or the White House as a Motel-6.

This takeover needs to be urgently presented before a court judge with some serious clout!!!

terrywade on May 3, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Simon***The new owners of the Chinese want to get some money out of this ex movie palace that the public does not want to see movies in anymore. Times change it’s time for the Chinese to be turned into a live event theatre. Many former luxury movie theatres have been turned into other uses and the buildings has not been destroyed, like the Pantages Theatre down the street in Hollywood. Put the disco clubs in the back and bring in some entertainment on a new stage at Grauman’s. Most people like the multiplex they don’t care about showmanship these days and just go to the Arclight Cinemas to see a first run film or just wait for it’s DVD time. The days of the old Fox West Coast Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Hollywood are almost over for film and digital video. A combo of film and live events will save this Hollywood dragon house. Do you think the new owners will like it when only 10 people show up for a matinee movie or 25 for a night show during the week. Most people will not come into Hollywoood and pay to park ect when they can see the same movie close to home in the LA area. They don’t care about the Chinese unfortunately. The tourists only want to see the for court for free and take photos. Wait till the new management starts charging to enter the famous autograph area outside. Watch for new plans coming soon for the former Grauman’s Chinese. Maybe Simon you can get a good judge who likes old theatres and films and lives in the past to hear the case when they submit the new layout to keep the place open.

KJB2012 on May 4, 2011 at 11:21 am

I don’t know much about the new owners. I do know that the “old” owners checked out of the movie biz long before they sold the Chinese.
It’s not that people don’t want to see movies at the Chinese, it’s that the owners kept booking movies people didn’t want to see.
Don’t blame a theatre, blame the product. And it’s the owners who pick the product!
If the Dodgers moved to Utah, and a farm team moved into Chavez Ravine, the fact that the stadium didn’t fill up wouldn’t be the stadium fault. It would be the team!

terrywade on May 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I think the screen will not have to made smaller if the new owners put in a new stage. The stage needs to be built out into the theatre. Most times I have been to Grauman’s and when it’s got a big crowd to see a first run film if a tall person sits in front of me the large screen is blocked by a head. The best thing is to keep the THS sound wall but enlarge the curve screen and move the whole thing up 5 feet. Put in a large half curve thrust stage going into the first 5 rows of seats. Most people don’t sit in the first five rows for a film so this space can be used for limited live events when films or sneak previews are not run. Even a separate curtain can come out of the sides to cover the new stage floor. Does anyone know if the Chinese still has any dressing rooms in the basement or off stage?

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on May 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm

This theater needs to do 30,000 to 40,0000 a week to make money. Its dong $ 2,000 to 3,000 a week…. No future for movies unless they have a new concept.

br91975 on May 5, 2011 at 6:33 am

Why not double-book with the Arclight? I remember that happened two years ago with Terminator: Salvation and it routinely occurs here in NYC with two theatres that are in the same zone, the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 and the AMC Loews 84th Street 6, for blockbuster and family films.

LawMann on May 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm

This is the very best theatre in Los Angeles and the most famous theatre in the world to see movies.

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