Chinese Theatre | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Michelle Lee on Flickr

Chinese Theatre

The world-famous Chinese Theatre opened in 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s King of Kings and immediately became an iconic fixture in Hollywood.

Developed by impresario Sid Grauman, whose earlier venues include the Million Dollar and Egyptian Theatres, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre has operated continuously as a first-run cinema and continues to play host to high-profile movie premieres. Designed by the architecture firm Meyer & Holler in a dramatic yet fanciful interpretation of Chinese architecture and art, the theatre features a pagoda-shaped roof rising to 90 feet, supported by massive columns topped by wrought iron masks.

Imported temple bells, pagodas, stone Heaven Dogs, and other artifacts from China are integrated into the theatre’s design. The theatre underwent a $7 million renovation in 2000-01 that upgraded amenities, uncovered long-obscured details, and restored the exterior to its original appearance. Now known as TCL Chinese Theatre, the building underwent another renovation in 2013 to provide first-run IMAX capabilities.

Image courtesy Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library

The Tamale

A rare remaining example of programmatic architecture, The Tamale was designed to advertise its products to passing motorists.