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Chinese Theatre marks 90 years as Hollywood glamour hot spot

A glamorous symbol of Hollywood’s golden age, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is turning 90. [...] known as the TCL Chinese Theatre, the landmark movie palace opened on May 18, 1927, and it’s been hosting movies, stars and fans ever since. Sid Grauman’s masterpiece movie house stands on a bustling corner of Hollywood Boulevard, next door to the Dolby Theatre, where the Oscars are now presented, and across the street from the historic Roosevelt Hotel, where the first Oscar ceremony was held in 1929. The theater still hosts dozens of premieres each year and its famous footprint forecourt draws an estimated 5 million tourists annually from around the world — many of whom don’t realize they can actually go inside and see a movie. “Occasionally you’ll get the tourist that comes up and asks for a restaurant reservation,” said Levi Tinker, the theater’s general manager and staff historian. A showman and entrepreneur, Grauman started building the Chinese Theatre in 1926, the same year he and other Hollywood titans established the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Silent film star Norma Talmadge came to see Grauman at his new building on Hollywood Boulevard when she accidentally stepped in the wet cement out front. While the building and the forecourt are historic, the projection technology inside has been continually updated to stay on the cutting edge and keep attracting studio premieres, said Alwyn Hight Kushner, the theater’s president and chief operating officer. “Chances are the filmmaker has actually been at this theater — in the seat you might be sitting in — to perfect the presentation of his film,” she said.

Article by By Sandy Cohen (c) Entertainment - Read full story here.