California …Part 3

Filed under: Entertainment,Just For Fun,Leisure,Vacation Tips |

I didn’t talk much about Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in the previous blog so I thought I’d better mention it as it’s a really big tourist attraction on Hollywood Blvd. It was originally opened in 1927 and it was the most spectacular theatre opening in motion picture history. Thousands of people lined Hollwood Blvd and a riot broke out as fans tried to catch a glimpse of the movie stars and other celebrities as they arrived for the opening.

The film being premiered that night was Cecil B. DeMille’s “The King of Kings” which was preceded by “Glories of the Scriptures”… a live prologue devised by master showman Sid Grauman. Authorisation to build the theater and import temple balls, pagodas, stone heaven dogs and other artifacts from China had to be obtained from the U.S. Governement. Poet and film director Moon Quon, who came from China, supervised much of the work as Chinese artisans created many pieces of statuary in the work area that eventually became known as the “Forecourt of the Stars”. Most of these pieces still decorate the ornate interior of the theatre today.

While the theatre has Grauman’s name on it, it is fact that he never owned more than one-third interest in it. His other partners were Howard Schenck, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. In 1929 Grauman actually sold his share to Fox West Coast Theatres but he remained as Managing Director until his death in 1950.

Today, Grauman’s is still the most sought after venue for movie premiere’s and more than four million visitors from all over the world visit the theatre every year.

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