TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Unfavorite 155 people favorited this theater

Related Websites

Chinese Theatres (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, Grauman, Mann Theatres, United Artists Theater Circuit Inc.

Architects: Phillip W. Holler, Raymond M. Kennedy, Mendel Meyer

Firms: BB Architects, Behr Browers Architects, Meyer & Holler

Functions: Movies (Film Festivals), Movies (First Run)

Styles: Oriental

Previous Names: Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Mann's Chinese Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 323.461.3331

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

The Chinese Theatre is arguably the most famous movie theatre in the world. It opened as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on May 18, 1927 with Cecil B. DeMille’s “The King of Kings” starring H.B. Warner and a stage prologue “Glories of the Scripture” which had a cast of 200. Seating was provided for 2,200, all on a single sloping floor (apart from a private box located at the rear, to the left of the projection box overhanging the rear orchestra seating). The theatre was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 17 ranks theatre organ which was opened by organist Frederick Burr Scholl, and accompanied the 65-piece symphony orchestra conducted by Constantine Bakaleinikoff. The Chinese Theatre has been the site of thousands of movie premieres and the destination of millions of tourists. Scores of celebrities have left their footprints, hand prints and hoof prints on the walkways near and on the theatre’s courtyard.

In 1973, Mann Theatres bought the Chinese Theatre. Two auditoriums, each seating 750, were added next to the Chinese Theatre, turning the theatre into a triplex operation from April 12, 1979. In 2000, the two added auditoriums were razed to make way for the construction of the Kodak Theatre – the new site of the annual Oscar presentations.

In 2001, the original 1927 built Chinese Theatre underwent a renovation to return its exterior to its original design and Mann Theatres, in late-2001, also added an adjoining 6-screen multiplex theatre, designed by the architectural firm Behr Browers Architects of Westlake, CA. Seating capacities in the six new screens are: 459, 177, 177, 177, 177, 279.

Still opulent in red tonality and Asiatic influences, the main original auditorium of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre remains the ultimate movie palace experience, and now seats 1,162.

In August 2009, Mann Theatres announced they were planning to put the Chinese Theatre up ‘For Sale’, and it was sold to an independent operator in April 2011. In January 2013, the naming rights were sold to television manufacturer Television China Ltd., and it was renamed TCL Chinese Theatre.

The main original auditorium was closed at the end of April 2013. Renovations by the architectural firm Blair Ballard Architects to turn the historic auditorium into a 986-seat IMAX theatre, with a 46 foot tall x 94 foot wide screen were completed on September 15, 2013 when the world premiere of the updated 1939 classic movie “The Wizard of Oz-3D” was screened on the giant IMAX screen.

On November 2, 2021 a vote was passed at a Planning and Management Land Use Committee (PLUM) meeting of the city council to re-zone the TCL Chinese Theatre for high to medium residential use.

Recent comments (view all 1,656 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 31, 2022 at 9:41 pm

The line added to the description is badly phrased. The new zoning code was not aimed at the Chinese Theatre, but is simply a provision to allow housing to be built on land that was previously reserved exclusively for commercial use. Nobody is going to knock down one of the city’s most successful tourist attractions to put up apartments, especially when the same code change opens up many thousands of acres of lower value commercial properties (and their parking lots) for residential use.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 14, 2022 at 2:55 am

Los Angeles Times link with multiple photos of various stars placing hand prints in the forecourt.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-chinese-theatre-handprints-celebrity-20170518-htmlstory.html

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on April 30, 2022 at 7:58 pm

CBS Saturday Morning news segment, “The History of the Forecourt of the Stars,” from April 30th, 2022:

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/the-history-of-the-forecourt-of-the-stars-the-tcl-chinese-theatre/#x

Says that the tradition of leaving imprints in the courtyard began 95 years ago today when actress Norma Talmadge accidentally stepped in freshly poured cement, then Sid Grauman who was giving her, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks a tour of the theater asked them to put their footprints, handprints and autographs. Also mentions the imprints have aged well due to a top secret cement recipe.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on May 2, 2022 at 7:22 pm

Wow, I’ve noticed that the web address for this entry ends in “theaters/1”, which seems to indicate that the Chinese Theatre was the very first cinema to be listed on Cinema Treasures.

And this comment of mine is #1650 (or #1642 according to the tally in the comments section), going back 20 years… : )

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 2, 2022 at 9:52 pm

Hello-

since discovering this wonderful site I decided to see what grand old theaters built in the U.S. between 1914-1941 were still alive and well. there is of course the Castro in San Francisco but that was built from the get go as a 2nd/3rd run neighborhood theater. I was interested in what grand old movie theater(s) built from the get go as a 1st run venue had continued to operate as such since the day it opened. the only one I have found so far in my research is this theater.

silver
silver on May 3, 2022 at 9:42 am

Reply to: bigjoe59 May 2, 2022 comment . How about the Westwood Village Theater? (now run by Regency). Opened 1931 with 1489 seats (currently has 1341). Info from its page: cinematreasures.org/theaters/246 . It has a huge lobby, & outstanding sound & projection. And many of us consider it to be the best old theater in Los Angeles (the overpriced Chinese notwithstanding), but that’s subjective, of course.

RogerA
RogerA on June 30, 2022 at 2:03 pm

The Village theater was once a premier venue. Current management hasn’t done any real maintenance for years. The curtain has been broken for a while. Are there any good theaters left in Los Angeles? The Million Dollar in downtown, one of the oldest theaters in Los Angeles, is running movies again.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on June 30, 2022 at 8:26 pm

I am puzzled by RogerA’s comment, there are quite a few “good” theatres left in Los Angeles, and in my opinion, some magnificent ones, like the Chinese, El Cap, Hollywood Legion, United Artists, Palace, Los Angeles, United Artists, Orpheum, Million Dollar, etc. I was just at the Westwood Village for Last Remaining Seats and it seems well maintained with good sound and picture, clean throughout, and an attentive staff. not sure about the curtain, but that would be low on my list, very few theatre even HAVE curtains any more, sadly.
As for bigjoe59’s query, I agree with silver that the Westwood Village should be included, it was built as a first run theatre, and still shows the biggest first run films. The exterior of the theatre is almost all original, including the marquee which has changed very little. It is probably one of the oldest original marquees still being used in Los Angeles.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 30, 2022 at 10:22 pm

Hello-
Escott N.-

L.A. with the Chinese and the Westwood must be one of the very very few cities in the U.S. with 2 grand old movie theaters that were built as 1st run venues from the get go and have continued to operate as such since the day they opened. Manhattan doesn’t have any.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 30, 2022 at 10:35 pm

bigjoe: It’s not first run and never really was, but the Loew’s 175th St. in Manhattan, now known as United Palace, shows classic movies once in a while. They recently showed The Godfather and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I saw All About Eve there recently. The theater itself has been restored beautifully.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.