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Chinese Theater Groundbreaking Photos

Chinese Theater Groundbreaking Photos

Sid Grauman's dream of opening a million dollar theatre complex in Los Angeles came true in January 1926 when construction began on the Chinese Theatre. Real estate mogul C.E. Toberman helped Grauman secure a long term lease on a piece of property located n Hollywood Blvd. . The plans for the theatre were designed by both Grauman and architect Raymond Kennedy, a well-known Hollywood architect.  The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by several celebrities including, Sid Grauman, Charles Chaplin, Conrad Nagel, Norma Talmadge and Chinese actress Anna May Wong. After spending $2,000,000, the Chinese Theatre was completed. Scores of Grauman's Chinese Theater photos are on hollywoodphotographs.com.

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Artifacts such as pagodas, temple bells and stone Heaven Dogs were imported from China after an intricate web of government permissions were obtained. Famous poet and film director Quon Moon oversaw the crafting of stone decoration and statuary by Chinese craftsmen, most of which can still be seen in the forecourt. Along with the historic and cultural richness of the Chinese Theatre is the famous forecourt filled with footprints and hand prints of present and past celebrities. Millions of tourists each year flock to this Los Angeles Historic Landmark to view Hollywood history.

Theater's Opening

The theater had its grand opening on May 18, 1927, when Cecil B. DeMille’s “King of Kings” premiered at the theater.  Thousands of residents and tourists lined Hollywood Blvd., just to watch the scores of movie stars enter the theater. Three of those who attended the theater’s premiere were Ernest Torrence, his wife, Elsie and their son, Ian. Ernest Torrence played Peter in the King of Kings film.

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The hand and footprint ceremonies have been the most important feature of the Chinese Theater. The first celebrities to place there extremities in the wet cement  in the theater’s forecourt were Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, who did so in April, 1927.  For the past eighty years, the tradition has continued with hundreds of celebrities following Fairbank’s and Pickford’s footsteps – no pun intended.

Today, the Chinese Theatre is a sought after venue for movie premiers and award shows. Hundreds of people flock to the sidewalks in front of the theatre during each star studded event to glimpse the majestic beauty of the theatre and celebrities. Sid Grauman wanted to create a lasting Hollywood landmark and he realized his desire by building the Chinese Theatre of Los Angeles.

 The largest collection of Chinese Theater photosis on the hollywoodphotographs.com website. There are over 8,000 photos on the website, including images of Hollywood restaurants, the Hollywood Canteen, and Hollywood nightclubs, and many more.

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