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 (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.

Recent comments (view all 1,640 comments)

silver on April 4, 2020 at 5:48 pm

“Hollywood’s Iconic Chinese Theatre Lays Off Staff Amid Virus Crisis. The 932-seat movie palace has been closed for business since March 16.”

Article from The Hollywood Reporter, with a couple interesting things: 1. the names of the principals of the theater: Eli Samaha, Carol Braidi and Hina Rizvi, and
2. there’s a current photograph, showing the metal barriers at the sidewalk to keep people out of the famous courtyard during the pandemic closure.

DavidZornig on June 30, 2020 at 7:48 pm

Water & Power Associates website with multiple vintage photos.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on July 29, 2020 at 6:38 am

Latest speculation on the future of moviegoing as practiced for more than a century can be read here

Bill_Lonee on August 3, 2020 at 12:17 am

Back in ‘77, our parents woke us up and let us know that we would not be going to school that day. Instead, we drove to Hollywood from Glendora and stood in a very long line for a couple of hours. To see a movie I’d never even heard of. I ate a pita sandwich for the first time in my life because we happened to be standing in front of a pita shop when we got hungry. I was blown away by the outside of the theater but underwhelmed by the weird lobby card photos from the film. Once inside, I was blown away again by just how big the screen was, then disappointed when the trailers started and they only filled the middle of the screen. HOWEVER, once the movie started, my whole universe changed. Twelve, going on thirteen, and seeing Star Wars for the first time, on the biggest screen you’ve ever seen, will do that to you.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 3, 2020 at 2:32 am

What a lucky kid to have such cool parents!

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on August 3, 2020 at 8:40 am

Hi Bill_Lonee, and welcome! Great story! I remember my first viewing of Star Wars, also at the Chinese, and it also changed my life! I remember events in my life as pre- and post-Star Wars!
I hope when theatres reopen eventually that you come back and watch a movie at the Chinese, I go all the time (well, until it has to close) and the theatre is still magic, and in my opinion one of the best places to see a big movie!

RogerA on August 3, 2020 at 9:05 am

Great story

That was back when the Chinese had carbon arcs three Norelco’s in the main booth and they could go from 35 to 70 mm on a changeover and it was impressive. To go from a small 1:85 picture for the trailers in mono to a full Todd-AO picture with six channels of a great six channel mix an experience that only comes once in a while

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on September 28, 2020 at 7:33 am

“Movies and Museums Are Coming Back. Should You Go?” asks The New York Times in a controversial article displayed here

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on November 23, 2020 at 6:48 am

Moviegoing as practiced for more than a century appears over. This could be the “new normal.” The following New York Times article does not mention Grauman’s Chinese specifically, but the theatre would be affected if it ever re-opens. Click here

davidcoppock on January 7, 2021 at 5:54 am

On 11/7/1977 Herbie(The Love Bug) along with other immortals of the silver screen, placed it’s wheel marks in cement outside the Chinese Theatre, before people to watch a screening of the movie, “Herbie goes to Monte Carlo”.

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.