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The Chinese Gets an IMAX Makeover

photo credit: schmich via photopin cc
The Chinese – now named the TCL Chinese Theatre. photo credit: schmich via photopin cc

The most famous theater in Hollywood has been closed now for just 4 1/2 months, but you can see exactly what they’ve done to the place in a quick 2 1/2 minutes thanks to a short film by Andrew Oleck.

Once known as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and more recently as the Mann Chinese, the 86 year old theater has kept all its glorious architectural details and gold leaf extravagance, but changed its name to the TCL Chinese (naming rights to Chinese manufacturers of televisions no less!) It also now projects digital files rather than film spools, and offers a giant IMAX screen with the 3D option,  stepped stadium seating and audience upgrades. The theatre will officially open today, September 20th and screen a new edition of the Wizard of Oz – in 3D and IMAX. Tickets for other dates also can be purchased online.

For much more detail on the theatre’s history as well as the current offerings, read Mathew Dessem’s article in The Dissolve. In the meantime, check out how cleverly the renovation took place, by tenting the auditorium to work beneath the hallowed walls without touching them, and using lots of pure human labor to get the work done. Kind of reminds you of the days when giant pyramids and great walls were assembled by human power alone.

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Julie Grist
Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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  1. Thanks for including the fabulous short film by Andrew Olick with your article about the changes in Hollywood’s most famous theater. My congrats to the people at TCL for keeping it authentic while doing their massive update. I can hardly wait to attend a film there!


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