The Chinese Theater, also known as the TCL Chinese Theater, is a historic movie theater located in Hollywood, California. It is one of the most famous and iconic landmarks in Hollywood, and has played host to countless movie premieres and red carpet events over the years.
The Chinese Theater was originally built in 1927 by Sid Grauman, a famous Hollywood theater owner and impresario. Grauman had previously built the Egyptian Theater and the Million Dollar Theater, both of which were popular venues for movie screenings in Los Angeles.
Grauman was inspired to build the Chinese Theater after visiting the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China. He wanted to create a theater that was just as grand and opulent as the Temple of Heaven, and enlisted the help of Chinese artist and set designer, Emile Kuri, to help him bring his vision to life.
Construction of the Chinese Theater began in January 1927, and was completed just six months later in June of that same year. The theater was designed in the Chinese Imperial style, with a grandiose entrance featuring two giant red columns, a pagoda-style roof, and a giant dragon sculpture. The interior of the theater was equally grand, with plush velvet seating, ornate decorations, and a giant chandelier.
The Chinese Theater officially opened on May 18, 1927, with a gala premiere of the movie “The King of Kings.” This was the first of many movie premieres that would be held at the Chinese Theater over the years, including the premier of “Gone with the Wind” in 1939, and the premier of “Star Wars” in 1977.
In the years following its opening, the Chinese Theater became one of the most popular movie theaters in Hollywood, and played host to numerous red carpet events and movie premieres. It was also home to the Academy Awards ceremony from 1950 to 1959, and continued to be a popular venue for movie screenings throughout the 20th century.
In the late 1990s, the Chinese Theater fell into disrepair and was in danger of being torn down. However, in 2001, it was purchased by TCL Corporation, a Chinese electronics company, and underwent a major renovation. The renovation included a complete restoration of the theater’s exterior and interior, as well as the addition of state-of-the-art digital projection equipment.
Today, the Chinese Theater is once again a popular venue for movie screenings and red carpet events, and continues to be a beloved and iconic landmark in Hollywood. It is also home to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which features the names of more than 2,600 famous actors, musicians, and other celebrities.
The Chinese Theater is a testament to the enduring appeal of the movie industry, and a symbol of Hollywood’s rich history and cultural influence. It is a must-see destination for tourists and film fans visiting Los Angeles, and will likely continue to be a prominent feature of the Hollywood landscape for many years to come.