TCL Chinese Theatre is a cinema on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Originally Grauman's Chinese Theatre and renamed Mann's Chinese Theatre in 1973; the current name of the theatre became official January 11, 2013, after TCL Corporation purchased the naming rights.
The original Chinese Theatre was commissioned following the success of the nearby Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, which opened in 1922. Built by a partnership headed by Sid Grauman over 18 months starting in January 1926, the theatre opened May 18, 1927, with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's film The King of Kings. It has since been home to many premieres, including the 1977 launch of George Lucas's Star Wars, as well as birthday parties, corporate junkets, and three Academy Awards ceremonies. Among the theatre's most distinctive features are the concrete blocks set in the forecourt, which bear the signatures, footprints, and handprints of popular motion picture personalities from the 1920s to the present Day.
The TCL Chinese Theatre has partnered with IMAX Corporation to create the single largest IMAX auditorium in the World. The new theatre seats 932 people, and hosts the third largest commercial movie screen in North America.
There are nearly 200 Hollywood celebrity handprints, footprints, and autographs in the concrete of the theatre's forecourt.
Variations of this honored tradition are imprints of the eyeglasses of Harold Lloyd; the cigar of Groucho Marx; the magic wands of Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint; the facial profile of John Barrymore (reflecting his nickname "The Great Profile"); 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.
Western stars William S. Hart and Roy Rogers left imprints of their guns. The hoofprints of "Tony", the horse of Tom Mix; "Champion", the horse of Gene Autry; and "Trigger", the horse of Rogers, were left in the concrete beside the prints of the stars who rode them in the movies.
Since 2011, there has been a surge of concrete ceremonies, many of which have been paid for by movie studios for publicity reasons. One of the theatre's current owners, Donald Kushner, acknowledged this and referred to them as mock ceremonies. This influx has been a matter of concern for film buffs and historians, as well as misleading for fans. However, despite the increase of cement blocks, the ones placed within the forecourt are still chosen by a special committee who selects celebrities based on their contributions to Hollywood cinema. Practice blocks, completed inside the theatre before the ceremony, are placed on the walls of the Chinese 6 Theatre lobby, which is also used as an event space.
In April 2013, owners announced plans to convert the original theatre for IMAX. The Chinese IMAX ranks as the largest (seating) capacity IMAX theatre in the world. The new 94 ft × 46 ft (29 m × 14 m) silver screen is curved and can be masked for premieres and screening events of non-IMAX films. To accommodate better sightlines and a taller screen, the seating is arranged in stepped rows, descending from street level to the floor of the former basement. The auditorium's decorative walls and ceiling remain unaltered, the existing curtain was extended, decorative lighting effects were added and TCL added digital signage. The theatre reopened on September 20, 2013, with the IMAX 3D version of The Wizard of Oz.