Sunday, February 24, 2013
Backstage Magic at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood
The Chinese Theatre, for years known as Grauman's Chinese Theatre in honor of its founder Sid Grauman, has always been a highly sought out location for Hollywood movie premieres and was the first theater to host the Academy Awards ceremony, after the event outgrew the hotel ballrooms where it was originally held. The Chinese Theatre is also known for its Forecourt to the Stars, home of celebrity hand and footprints. I had the chance to tour the Theatre in October, as part of the Adventures by Disney Backstage Magic tour.
Levi Tinker, greeted us in the Forecourt, where our tour group had taken some time to explore the marks celebrities ranging from the voice of Donald Duck to the cast of the Harry Potter movies have left their marks for generations. Levi took us through the lobby and into the main building, where he offered a brief history of the origins of the Theatre before taking us into the seating area. The history of the property is reasonably well documented on the Theatre's web site and Levi fired out facts faster than I could write them down, so my attempt to tell the site's history will be far less complete than what you can read elsewhere. What I can tell you is that Theatre is a significant part of Hollywood history, having hosted premieres, as a shrine to the luminaries who have brought films to the public for many years, and even as a location where movies continue to be filmed to this day. Our tour touched on all of those elements.
For anyone visiting Hollywood with an appreciation of movie history, architecture, or celebrities, a visit to the Chinese Theatre will be time and money well spent.