Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Mann's Chinese Theatre Are Prints of Hollywood's Past
Whenever you hear the name Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, we conjure up visions of glamour long ago and images of glitzy stars and lifestyles that only exist in the movies. Here’s your chance to walk in those footprints and see how you measure up to Hollywood’s past idols and favorites stars of today.
No one is sure about how this tradition started but one thing is for sure, it’s been there longer than most of us have been here. The theater credits Norma Talmadge as the original inspiration. She was an American starlet and producer during the silent movie era. Anyway, the story goes:
- Norma accidentally stepped in the wet concrete.
- A second story says Grauman stepped into the concrete and got Mary Pickford to put her foot into the concrete as well.
- A third version was told by Jean Klossner, who was the construction foreman that he and Grauman developed the idea.
While you visit be sure to look for Klossner's signature and handprint, which dates back to 1927. Douglas Fairbanks was the second celebrity after Talmadge to leave their mark in this Hollywood icon. With over 200 prints, you are sure to find one that’s a favorite from feet, hands, noses, legs, glasses, cigars and magic wands. Don’t forget that stars are not always human; you’ll see prints of some of the most famous animals in the world, who made the movies, big time.
Some things in Hollywood never change and Grauman's Chinese Theatre is one of them. It still hosts premieres which are attended by celebrities with adoring fans waiting to get a glimpse of them, as if it were still 1927. At the time of its opening, the premiere of Cecil B. Demille’s film “King of Kings” was playing.
The theatre is located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, right alongside the Hollywood Walk of Fame and it won’t cost you anything, unless you decide to take a short and affordable tour. You can’t miss the theater; it resembles a giant red Chinese pagoda with Chinese dragons as guards in the front and two Ming dogs protecting the main entrance.
In 1968 the theatre was declared a historic landmark. It was purchased in 1973 by Ted Mann who owned the chain of Mann theatres, from 1973 until 2001 with the theater being known as the Mann’s Chinese Theater. When Mann filed for bankruptcy the theater was sold in 2000 to the partnership of Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures reverting back to its original name of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and in some areas it is still known as Mann's Chinese Theatre. Whichever you chose, be sure to stop by and see how well you fill some of these footprints.