Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Finally got to see Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Opening on May 18, 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B DeMille's "King of Kings", Grauman's Theater is probably one of the most iconic landmarks on Hollywood Boulevard. The forecourt with its hand prints and signatures of stars from Clark Gable to Johnny Depp sees thousands of tourists daily, but the most amazing part is through the doors.

This figurine is said to have been Sid Grauman's main inspiration for the decor.  The superstitious believe that rubbing her shoulder at a premiere will bring luck to the film and anyone involved with the movie for years to come.

Details from the theater's exterior, most designed by artist Moon Quon who was commissioned by Sid as an artistic advisor in the design:

 Although it has gone through many renovations over the years, currently it is the closest to it's original form as ever. As soon as you walk in there are finely hand painted murals, stunning chandeliers, and decades old carpeting. If you are as interested and awed by old architecture as I am, this place will make your head spin at first.  Pictures really don't do it justice:

There is a small but impressive gallery of dresses that have been donated to the theater lining the main hallway. Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, and Bette Davis have gowns here, among others. 

Then there is the theater itself.  Fully restored, the seats boast the original woodwork from 1927, the drapes weigh a ton a piece for sound proofing, The ceiling and crown molding are so beautiful, They really don't take the time to make things like they used to.  Every little detail, hand carved or hand painted. It's amazing.

 Even the concession stand is impressive:

  In the women's parlor room, great care has been taken to preserve the original paintings from 1929. Every time they repaint the rooms these tiny, detailed butterflies are taped over so as to not ruin them.  The tour guide said many stars have spent good portions of their premieres hiding here, from Marilyn Monroe to the cast of Star Wars. They even believe it may be haunted, but by whom they aren't sure.

If you are ever in town I absolutely recommend taking a few minutes out of your stay to take the Grauman's tour. Its cheap, takes about half an hour, and is loaded with history and amazing architecture.  These aren't even half the pictures I have, and I couldve taken 100 more.  Just a really cool piece of Hollywood history.


  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing these pics. Do you have ato purchase a ticket for a movie or can you just go on the tour? I always thought you had to see a movie to go inside.

  2. Hi Tom thank for reading! I thought that too, but was so happy you can buy a tour only ticket in the court, they give tours every 45 min. or so. And the tour guides know their stuff!