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Grauman's Chinese Theater

Grauman's Chinese Theater, at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, is a world famous movie house that opened in 1927.

It was built by showman Sid Grauman , who also built the nearby Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard and the Million Dollar Theater on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles.

The exterior of the theater supposedly resembles a giant, red Chinese pagoda. The architecture features a huge Chinese dragon across the front, two stone lion-dogs guarding the main entrance, and the silhouettes of tiny dragons up and down the sides of the copper roof.

Before the Chinese Theater officially opened, Sid Grauman gave a tour to some celebrities. Because the actress Norma Talmadge unintentionally walked across a wet slab of cement, he came up with the idea to have other movie stars place their hand and foot prints in the forecourt.

Variations of this honored tradition are imprints of the eyeglasses of Harold Lloyd, the cigars of Groucho Marx and George Burns, the legs of Betty Grable, the fist of John Wayne, the knees of Al Jolson, the ice skating blades of Sonja Henie and the noses of Jimmy Durante and Bob Hope.

Steve McQueen's hand and foot prints at Grauman's
Steve McQueen's hand and foot prints at Grauman's

Western stars William S. Hart and Roy Rogers left imprints of their guns. And the hoof prints of "Tony," the horse of Tom Mix, "Champion," the horse of Gene Autry, and "Trigger," the horse of Rogers, were left in the cement beside the prints of the stars who rode them in the movies.

Thousands of people from all around the world regularly go through the famous forecourt looking at the hand and foot prints of the stars.

The theater was purchased in 1973 by Ted Mann, owner of the Mann's Theater chain and husband of actress Rhonda Fleming , who renamed it Mann's Chinese Theater. As of November 9, 2001, the original name was returned to the front of the theater.

Grauman's Chinese Theater is also a first-run movie theater where, for the price of a ticket, a visitor can see a film in the well preserved interior, which has been fully renovated and restored.

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45