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  • Writer's pictureGrant Guy

Graumann's Chinese Theater

Graumanns Chinese Theatre is a must visit, and well worth the pilgrimage through the sea of noise, tourists, crazy people and unidentifiable stains along Hollywood Boulevard.

Norma Talmadge turned the first spade of dirt at the start of construction in 1926, and Anna May Wong drove the first rivet into its steel girders.

Thousands lined the streets for the theatre’s opening in 1927.

The same year Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were the first stars to place their hand and footprints in the wet cement of the theatre’s forecourt (some say this was a happy accident that started a tradition that continues to this day)

Graumanns was declared a historic landmark in 1968.

Visiting the forecourt of famous hand and footprints is free and so much fun, but if you get the chance to go see a movie inside the almost thousand seat theatre do that too — faded Hollywood glamour for days.

Pro tip: stop to take in the architecture and artifacts: Look for pagodas, temple bells and stone dogs all imported from China in the 1920’s. the theatre entrance is between two giant red columns topped with decorative masks. The 1957 neon dragon sign is currently in the hands of the museum of neon art for restoration. Movie Premieres are still regularly held at Graumanns - if there is one happening during your visit, if you don’t have an official lanyard of any kind, your best view will be by car as you cruise down Hollywood Boulevard.


Southern California #9 - last visited June 20th 2022

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