Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On The Boulevard: Grauman's Chinese Theatre & Forecourt

Theatre facade along Hollywood Blvd.
This is one of a series of posts called "On the Boulevard" about attractions on Hollywood Boulevard.

The original. This was the main reason why tourists used to brave a seedy world to visit Hollywood. Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened in 1927 and ever since has been one of the most sought after theatres for movie premieres. See the related post about "The Fighter" premiere. Now with the rejuvenation of this portion of Hollywood, tourists are unlikely to hesitate to visit.

Theatre entrance.
The Chinese motif adds a distinction to this movie house that beckons back to a time when movie theatre architecture design was also an art. The most iconic portion of the theatre is the entrance comprised of two gigantic coral red columns topped by iron masks with a bronze roof above and two giant Heaven Dogs guarding at ground level.

But what cemented (literally) the theatre's legendary status is the forecourt immortalizing celebrities with footprints, handprints and autographs with the most recent being Cher in November 2010. The first footprint ceremony took place in 1927 for Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.

The theatre also offers tours which I plan to attend upon my next visit to this part of Los Angeles. Next door at the Hollywood & Highland Center the theatre operates the Mann Chinese 6 Theatres playing the latest movie releases.

Visit for more information. The website includes a map of the forecourt. Tours are offered every 30 minutes daily except during special events. Visit the theatre or book online for tickets Tickets are Adults $12.50; children $8.50.

Sample of footprints in the forecourt.


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