Practice English Speaking&Listening with: TCL Chinese Theatre

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TCL Chinese Theatre is a cinema palace on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame

at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, United States.

Originally known as Grauman's Chinese Theatre and renamed Mann's Chinese

Theatre in 1973; the current name of the theatre became official January 11,

2013, after Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL Corporation purchased

the naming rights. This resulted in the first affiliation of the Chinese Theatre

with an actual Chinese corporation. The original Chinese Theatre was

commissioned following the success of the nearby Grauman's Egyptian Theatre,

which opened in 1922. Built by a partnership headed by Sid Grauman over

18 months starting in January 1926, the theatre opened May 18, 1927, with the

premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's film The King of Kings. It has since been home to

many premieres, including the 1977 launch of George Lucas' Star Wars, as

well as birthday parties, corporate junkets, and three Academy Awards

ceremonies. Among the theatre's most distinctive features are the concrete

blocks set in the forecourt, which bear the signatures, footprints, and

handprints of popular motion picture personalities from the 1920s to the

present day. The TCL Chinese Theatre has partnered

with IMAX Corporation to create the single largest IMAX auditorium in the

world. The new theatre seats 932 people, and hosts the third largest commercial

movie screen in North America. History

After his success with the Egyptian Theatre, Sid Grauman turned to Charles

E. Toberman to secure a long-term lease on property at 6925 Hollywood Blvd.

Toberman contracted the firm of Meyer & Holler, designer of the Egyptian, to

design a "palace type theatre" of Chinese design. Grauman financed and

owned a one-third interest in the Chinese Theatre; his partnersMary

Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Howard Schenckowned the remainder. The

principal architect of the Chinese Theatre was Raymond M. Kennedy, of Meyer

& Holler. During construction, Grauman hired Jean

Klossner to formulate an extremely hard concrete for the forecourt of the

theatre. Klossner later became known as "Mr. Footprint", performing the

footprint ceremonies from 1927 through 1957.

Many stories exist to explain the origins of the footprints. The theatre's

official account in its books and souvenir programs credit Norma Talmadge

as having inspired the tradition when she accidentally stepped into the wet

concrete. However, in a short interview during the September 13, 1937, Lux Radio

Theatre broadcast of a radio adaptation of A Star Is Born, Grauman related

another version of how he got the idea to put hand and foot prints in the

concrete. He said it was "...pure accident. I walked right into it. While

we were building the theatre, I accidentally happened to step in some

soft concrete. And there it was. So, I went to Mary Pickford immediately. Mary

put her foot into it." Still another account by the construction foreman,

Jean Klossner, recounts that Klossner autographed his work next to the

right-hand poster kiosk and that he and Grauman developed the idea then and

there. His autograph and handprint, dated 1927, remain today. The theatre's

third founding partner, Douglas Fairbanks, was the second celebrity,

after Talmadge, to be immortalized in the concrete.

In 1929, Sid Grauman decided to retire and sell his share to William Fox's Fox

Theatres chain. However, just a few months later, Howard Hughes convinced

Grauman to return to the theatre because he wanted Grauman to produce the world

premiere of his aviation epic Hell's Angels, which would also feature one of

Grauman's famous theatrical prologues before the film. Grauman remained as the

theatre's managing director for the entire run of Hell's Angels, retiring

once again after its run finished. But, unsatisfied with retirement, Grauman

returned to the theatre as managing director on Christmas Day 1931, and kept

that position until his death in 1950. One of the highlights of the Chinese

Theatre has always been its grandeur and dcor. In 1952, John Tartaglia, the

artist of nearby Saint Sophia Cathedral, became the head interior decorator of

the Chinese Theatre as well as the theatre chain then owned by Fox West

Coast Theatres. He would later continue the work of Jean Klossner, by

recommendation of J. Walter Bantau, for the Hollywood Footprint Ceremonies.

Tartaglia performed his first ceremony as a Master Mason for Jean Simmons in

1953, for the premiere of The Robe, the first premiere in Cinemascope. Although

replacing Klossner was initially thought to be a temporary job for Tartaglia, his

dedication would result in a 35-year career in which he last performed as the

Master Mason/Concrete Artist in honor of Eddie Murphy in May 1987, leaving behind

one of the greatest legacies in Hollywood.

The Chinese Theatre was declared a historic and cultural landmark in 1968,

and has undergone various restoration projects in the years since then. Ted

Mann, owner of the Mann Theatres chain and husband of actress Rhonda Fleming,

purchased it in 1973. From then until 2001 it was known as Mann's Chinese

Theatre. In the wake of Mann's 2000-bankruptcy, a partnership of Warner

Bros. and Paramount Pictures acquired the theatre, along with the other Mann

properties and the Mann brandname. In 2000, Behr Browers Architects, a firm

previously engaged by Mann Theatres, prepared a restoration and modernization

program for the structure. The program included a seismic upgrade, new

state-of-the-art sound and projection, new vending kiosks and exterior signage,

and the addition of a larger concession area under the balcony. The program

began in 2002 and restored the original name"Grauman's Chinese Theatre"to the

cinema palace. As part of the upgrade, Behr Browers also designed a new

Chinese-themed six-plex in the attached Hollywood and Highland mall that

continued to operate under the name Mann's Chinese 6 Theatre.

In 2007, the CIM Group purchased the land on which the theatre sits for an

undisclosed price from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation of New York

and Barlow Respiratory Hospital of Los Angeles. Mann Theatres continued to hold

a long-term lease on the venue for movie premieres and continued to operate it as

a film house. CIM Group also owns the Hollywood and Highland retail mall, as

well as numerous other residential and commercial properties in Hollywood. On

May 27, 2011, Chinese Theatres, LLC, a partnership owned by nightclub

owner/producer Elie Samaha and producer Donald Kushner, purchased both Grauman's

Chinese and the adjacent Mann Chinese 6. The exterior of the theatre is meant to

resemble a giant, red Chinese pagoda. The design features a huge Chinese

dragon across the faade, with two authentic Ming Dynasty guardian lions

guarding the main entrance and the silhouettes of tiny dragons along the

sides of the copper roof. To the dismay of many historic architecture fans, the

free-standing ticket booth, installed in the 1930s, and the left and right neon

marquees have been removedbut their absence restores the theatre to its

original appearance. The auditorium has been completely restored, along with

much of the exterior; however, the wear and tear on the physical structure over

the years has caused some of the external dcor to be removed, rather

than repaired. The Chinese Theatre hosted the 1944,

1945, and 1946 Academy Awards ceremonies; they are now held at the

adjacent Dolby Theatre, formerly known as the Kodak Theatre.

TCL Chinese Theatre continues to serve the public as a first-run movie theatre.

Many Hollywood films have had their premieres at the Chinese Theatre

throughout its history. Today, premieres are attended by celebrities and a large

number of fans, just as they have been since 1927.

Handprints There are nearly 200 Hollywood celebrity

handprints, footprints, and autographs in the concrete of the theatre's

forecourt. Variations of this honored tradition are

imprints of the eyeglasses of Harold Lloyd; the cigar of Groucho Marx; the

wands used by Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert

Grint; the facial profile of John Barrymore; the legs of Betty Grable;

Western stars William S. Hart and Roy Rogers left imprints of their guns.

Herbie, a Volkswagen Beetle, left the imprints of his tires. The hoofprints of

"Tony", the horse of Tom Mix; "Champion", the horse of Gene Autry; and

"Trigger", the horse of Rogers, were left in the concrete beside the prints

of the stars who rode them in the movies.

Since 2011, there has been a surge of concrete ceremonies, many of which have

been paid for by movie studios for publicity reasons. One of the theatre's

current owners, Donald Kushner, acknowledged this and referred to them

as mock ceremonies. This influx has been a matter of concern for film buffs and

historians, as well as misleading for fans. However, despite the increase of

cement blocks, the ones placed within the forecourt are still chosen by a

special committee who selects celebrities based on their contributions

to Hollywood cinema. Practice blocks, completed inside the theatre before the

ceremony, are placed on the walls of the Chinese 6 Theatre lobby, which is also

used as an event space. IMAX conversion

In April 2013, owners announced plans to convert the original theatre for IMAX,

which was started thereafter. The Chinese IMAX has the largest seating

capacity of an IMAX theatre in the world. The new 94 ft 46 ft silver

screen is curved and can be masked for premieres and screening events of

non-IMAX films. To accommodate better sightlines and a taller screen, the

seating is arranged in stepped rows, descending from street level to the

floor of the former basement. The auditorium's decorative walls and

ceiling remain unaltered, the existing curtain was extended, decorative

lighting effects were added and TCL added digital signage. The theatre

reopened on September 20, 2013, with the IMAX 3D version of The Wizard of Oz.

Although opened with only a digital projection system, a 15/70mm projection

system was added for Interstellar. On March 6 2015, the TCL Chinese Theatre

IMAX went dark for 3 weeks, to install the brand new IMAX with Laser

Projection, the theatre reopened to the public on April 3 with world premiere of

Furious 7 in IMAX with Laser. Going forward all IMAX movies screened at the

Chinese will be presented in IMAX with Laser.

See also Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments

in Hollywood The Great Movie Ride, a ride built

inside a recreation of the theatre at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt

Disney World References

External links Official website

Classic Movie Actors and Actresses with imprints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Clickable Map of star handprints & footprints

Map and list of celebrity handprints (Photo History)

The Description of TCL Chinese Theatre