Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
You can’t miss Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (6925 Hollywood Blvd., 323/464-8111, www.manntheatres.com/chinese) on Hollywood Boulevard. With its elaborate 90-foot-tall Chinese temple gateway and unending crowd of tourists, Grauman’s Chinese may be the most visited and recognizable movie theater in the world. Inside the courtyard, you’ll find handprints and footprints of legendary Hollywood stars.
Be sure to stop and admire the bells, dogs, and other Chinese artifacts in the courtyard—most are the genuine article, imported from China by special permit in the 1920s. The theater in all its splendor opened on May 18, 1927, with the premiere of The King of Kings and all the stars swanning up the red carpet to the cheers (and eventual riot) of the throng of thousands of fans gathered outside. The next day, the public was allowed into the hallowed theater.
The studios put up premieres at Grauman’s all the time. Check the website for showtimes and ticket information. The Chinese Theatre has only one screen, but seats over 1,000 people per showing. While you’re welcome to crowd the sidewalk to try to catch a glimpse of the stars at a premiere, be aware that most of these are private events.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition