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Grauman's Chinese Theater to be Torn Down?


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With a minor interest in classic theaters, I came across an article some time ago.  I "think" it was Graumann's - after the purchase by TCL, where the theater was completely gutted and rebuilt on the inside to modern design specs.  The floor seating area was completely torn out and dug up to change the rake/angle of the seating - and possibly they added or removed a balcony.  I don't remember what they did with the ceiling and walls.  Without revisiting that story, from memory, just the surrounding real estate and the facade on the outside remained.  So it hasn't been a classic theater for quite some time now.  It's yet another high tech cookie cutter digital cinema.  There appears to be some other activity going on in that area too.  I have seen pics of the big arch near the Kodak theater, a remnant from the movie Intolerance, covered up with a black canvas.  Guess they are redecorating?

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I came up with nothing on a Google search for this, there’s a chance they’re looking to rezone in the area so they could add apartments around the theater or tear down other structures around the theater, but I seriously doubt they would be able to tear down the theater. It’s still a major tourist attraction in the area.

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The Chinese doesn't have a balcony. I think it has a very small shelf balcony on the back wall.

This would be a tragedy if this Hollywood icon would be torn down for an apt. building. Who owns the Chinese now? Is it still Mann?

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Not really definitive either way, but in the past TCM has used the theater for the TCM Classic Film Festival and is currently showing the front of the theater in their promotions for the festival coming in 2022.

https://filmfestival.tcm.com/

The theater is mentioned several times in the list of what each festival pass includes:

https://filmfestival.tcm.com/pdfs/2021/TCM-FilmFestival2022-LearnMore.pdf

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3 hours ago, Movie Collector OH said:

With a minor interest in classic theaters, I came across an article some time ago.  I "think" it was Graumann's - after the purchase by TCL, where the theater was completely gutted and rebuilt on the inside to modern design specs.  The floor seating area was completely torn out and dug up to change the rake/angle of the seating - and possibly they added or removed a balcony.  I don't remember what they did with the ceiling and walls.  Without revisiting that story, from memory, just the surrounding real estate and the facade on the outside remained.  So it hasn't been a classic theater for quite some time now.  It's yet another high tech cookie cutter digital cinema.  There appears to be some other activity going on in that area too.  I have seen pics of the big arch near the Kodak theater, a remnant from the movie Intolerance, covered up with a black canvas.  Guess they are redecorating?

TCL doesn't own the theater.  It's owned by an LLC (Chinese Theatres), fronted by Donald Kushner and Elie Samaha.  TCL paid for the naming rights

It was renovated in 2013.

I've been lucky enough to see many files there during the TCMFF.   The ceilings and walls weren't destroyed in the renovation.  The auditorium rake was altered (improved in my opinion), and the house was outfitted for IMAX presentations.  It's definitely not a cookie-cutter inside.  The TCL multiplex next-door, is.

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3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I came up with nothing on a Google search for this, there’s a chance they’re looking to rezone in the area so they could add apartments around the theater or tear down other structures around the theater, but I seriously doubt they would be able to tear down the theater. It’s still a major tourist attraction in the area.

Agree.  The post is somewhat alarmist.  I went through the PLUM agenda, and there's nothing definitive on an active plan to tear down the theater and put up housing there.

When you dig through the blog post, it turns out that something called the Housing Element Update came up on the agenda of the Housing Committee, which was also referred to the PLUM.  Apparently the Housing Element Update is a high-level planning document for long-term land use as it pertains to housing in LA.  I didn't find the document (didn't look too hard, either).

My take on it is that there likely is a recommendation to rezone areas of Hollywood for residential uses in there somewhere, but that's probably step 1 of 100 to actually get anything done.   Just digging through various commissions, committees and agendas that I did for about 30 minutes this morning (with overlapping areas of concern, and various neighborhood commissions, etc) convinced me that it will take years of paperwork to get anything built in LA.

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Well, it's about time!

As a nearly woke person, I say this outrageous example of "cultural appropriation"-- remember here, Sid Grauman nor ANYONE he commissioned at the architectual firm of Meyer & Holler that designed it, had even an OUNCE of Asian let alone CHINESE blood  coursing through his veins -- should have been torn down YEARS ago!!!

Uh-huh, and so I say they build the world's largest Starbucks coffee house there instead.

(...there can never be too many of those, ya know)

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4 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Well, it's about time!

As a nearly woke person, I say this outrageous example of "cultural appropriation"-- remember here, Sid Grauman nor ANYONE he commissioned at the the architectual firm of Meyer & Holler that designed it, had even an OUNCE of Asian let alone CHINESE blood  coursing through his veins -- should have been torn down YEARS ago!!!

Uh-huh, and so I say they build the world's largest Starbucks coffee house there instead.

(...there can never be too many of those, ya know)

aka, a company that FOR YEARS has profited off the image of a MERMAID on their packaging WHILE AT THE SAME TIME EMPLOYING EXACTLY 0 ACTUAL INDIGENOUS PERSONS OF THE SEA OR TRANSPECIES INDIVIDUALS.

(SHAKES HEAD AND SIGHS)

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6 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Well, it's about time!

As a nearly woke person, I say this outrageous example of "cultural appropriation"-- remember here, Sid Grauman nor ANYONE he commissioned at the the architectual firm of Meyer & Holler that designed it, had even an OUNCE of Asian let alone CHINESE blood  coursing through his veins -- should have been torn down YEARS ago!!!

Uh-huh, and so I say they build the world's largest Starbucks coffee house there instead.

(...there can never be too many of those, ya know)

If this ugly site was torn down it would be fine with me.     Yea,  I understand the history,,,  blah, blah, blah,,,,,    

If a city wishes to retain a building it should  have to purchase it at market value.      Instead the L.A. county law allows the county to take control without having to pay a dime.

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Just now, LornaHansonForbes said:

aka, a company that FOR YEARS has profited off the image of a MERMAID on their packaging WHILE AT THE SAME TIME EMPLOYING EXACTLY 0 ACTUAL INDIGENOUS PERSONS OF THE SEA OR TRANSPECIES INDIVIDUALS.

(SHAKES HEAD AND SIGHS)

Oh yeah, that's right. 

Sorry, I guess I forgot about the plight of the poor mermaids out there, didn't I Lorna.

(...guess I still have a ways to go before I can proudly claim to be fully woke, huh)  

;)

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10 minutes ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

If this ugly site was torn down it would be fine with me.     Yea,  I understand the history,,,  blah, blah, blah,,,,,    

If a city wishes to retain a building it should  have to purchase it at market value.      Instead the L.A. county law allows the county to take control without having to pay a dime.

Wait now, James!

As I understand it, YOU are half-Japanese, NOT half-Chinese, RIGHT?!

And so now I must question YOUR right to say or feel this way!

(...tell ya what...seein' as how I'll once again be back in SoCal this coming weekend for that British motorcycle rally I attend every year, meet me Saturday at about 1pm at Old Town Torrance's Red Car Brewery & Restaurant and so I can present further arguments to you in person as to the errors of your thinking here)  ;)

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1 hour ago, txfilmfan said:

TCL doesn't own the theater.  It's owned by an LLC (Chinese Theatres), fronted by Donald Kushner and Elie Samaha.  TCL paid for the naming rights

It was renovated in 2013.

I've been lucky enough to see many files there during the TCMFF.   The ceilings and walls weren't destroyed in the renovation.  The auditorium rake was altered (improved in my opinion), and the house was outfitted for IMAX presentations.  It's definitely not a cookie-cutter inside.  The TCL multiplex next-door, is.

I've only seen the pics of the actual renovation, that showed everything torn out.  With the walls and ceilings still there, they must have just had them blanketed over.  Just after I posted that I noticed it is in fact an IMAX.  Well not exactly an IMAX, but a LIEMAX.  ;)

Here's an actual IMAX screen (a dying breed).

imax-bfi-london.jpg

 

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Another question is where are the hundreds of old cement slabs with stars' imprints stored away? The ones in the courtyard now are only a handful of all the slabs made. I assume if the Chinese Theater is torn down for apartments (or whatever) the courtyard will be gone also....

Why weren't any of the slabs incorporated into the new Academy Film Museum?

 

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15 minutes ago, Movie Collector OH said:

I've only seen the pics of the actual renovation, that showed everything torn out.  With the walls and ceilings still there, they must have just had them blanketed over.  Just after I posted that I noticed it is in fact an IMAX.  Well not exactly an IMAX, but a LIEMAX.  ;)

Here's an actual IMAX screen (a dying breed).

imax-bfi-london.jpg

 

Time-lapse video of the renovation. 

 

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10 minutes ago, UMO1982 said:

Another question is where are the hundreds of old cement slabs with stars' imprints stored away? The ones in the courtyard now are only a handful of all the slabs made. I assume if the Chinese Theater is torn down for apartments (or whatever) the courtyard will be gone also....

Why weren't any of the slabs incorporated into the new Academy Film Museum?

 

https://www.lamag.com/askchris/ask-chris-does-graumans-chinese-theater-remove-the-hand-and-footprints-of-old-stars-to-make-way-for-new-ones/

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1 hour ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

If this ugly site was torn down it would be fine with me.     Yea,  I understand the history,,,  blah, blah, blah,,,,,    

If a city wishes to retain a building it should  have to purchase it at market value.      Instead the L.A. county law allows the county to take control without having to pay a dime.

Are you serious? You think it's ugly?

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

We all do.

ps- don't forget the Mermen

I won't  ;) 

DAMN!  Tried to find a clip of that iconic Hendrix work "1983(a merman I should turn to be)"  from Electric Ladyland, but all YouTube had was a bunch of pretentious and crappy "covers" by presumptuous "musicians".  :angry:

Sepiatone

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6 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Are you serious? You think it's ugly?

Yea,   ugly in a cartoonist sort of way.

But like Dargo said,  I'm half Japanese.      While the two of us were joking about that,   I do find the way toned down,  simple,  elegant Japanese "style" much preferable to what I find to be the  gaudy,  overly embellished Chinese style,  as represented by this theater.

    

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6 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I won't  ;) 

DAMN!  Tried to find a clip of that iconic Hendrix work "1983(a merman I should turn to be)"  from Electric Ladyland, but all YouTube had was a bunch of pretentious and crappy "covers" by presumptuous "musicians".  :angry:

Sepiatone

how's this instead? (apologies for any ads that may play before the clip)

 

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8 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

Time-lapse video of the renovation. 

 

 

And how much did that COST?? :o

All the renovations in the world won't mean squat if the movies are not worth the HD they're recorded on. (which seems to be getting worst with each passing year)

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