One of Los Angeles' most celebrated attractions, Hollywood’s legendary TCL Chinese Theatre is an architectural beauty hosting one of the largest movie screens in North America and the biggest IMAX® auditorium in the world.

Reminiscent of old-school Hollywood glamour, the iconic movie palace is by far one of the city’s most prominent cultural properties and most popular tourist destinations. In addition, the theatre attracts over four million visitors annually. Attending a movie at the TCL Chinese Theatre is not just your typical film screening but an unforgettable cinematic experience. The Chinese Theatre is the film industry standard for success and a must-see destination for any Hollywood visit.

Photo Alert: No caption is necessary in front of the red-columned, bronze-roofed theatre that offers numerous Insta-worthy photos!

The inside of the Chinese Theatre with a ornate ceiling of different shades of yellow and red velvet seats blanket the floor area in Los Angeles, California

photo credit: TCL Los Angles via Facebook

TCL is the first and only IMAX® theatre in Hollywood. The upscale movie theatre hosts movie premieres alongside today’s most highly anticipated films in IMAX and MX4D. What's more, the stunning IMAX experience features its trademark crystal-clear laser projection, cutting-edge sound technology and curved screen that spans wall to wall and ceiling to floor.

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No trip to Hollywood is complete without a jaunt down the City of Angels’ historic Walk of Fame. The Forecourt of the Chinese Theatre includes handprints, footprints, and autographs of famous actors of past and present generations.

Pro Tip: Walk of Fame ceremonies are open and free, with a public viewing area set up for visitors to enjoy.

Situated on prime Los Angeles real estate in the heart of Hollywood, and as famous as the Hollywood sign itself, the TCL Chinese Theatre embodies the city’s cultural heritage, rich in design and history. With its exotic revival architecture and vibrant majestic interior design, it's easy to see how the infamous cinema became one of the world’s best-known attractions.

Consequently, guests are also welcome to tour the venue, learn about the movie palace’s history, view celebrity photographs, and take a unique behind-the-scenes journey. The theatre’s Forecourt hosts the signatures and footprints of Hollywood’s biggest names.

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Photo Alert: Snap a pic with the most visited spot on the Forecourt of the Stars-Marilyn Monroe’s handprints. Marilyn's are the darkest because so many people have touched the legend’s imprints.

TCL Chinese Theatre History

After an unsuccessful gold mining attempt, architect and entrepreneur Sid Grauman opened a chain of theatres in North California and Alaska. Grauman built Hollywood’s Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles and the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Grauman financed the theatre’s $2.1 million budget and owned one-third of his Chinese Theatre with partners Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Howard Schenck. The world-famous cinematic icon was to be Grauman’s last theatre built.

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Grauman’s Chinese Theatre opened its doors on May 18, 1927, with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s The King of Kings. Thousands lined Hollywood Boulevard for the theatre’s grand opening and for over 75 years, the theatre has drawn vast crowds. The theatre’s website states, “To visit Los Angeles and not to see the Chinese Theatre is like visiting China and not seeing the Great Wall.”

People standing and walking on Hollywood Blvd Walk of Fame - Los Angeles, California, USA

photo credit: Io Viaggio in Camper via Facebook

Fun Fact: Charlie Chaplin is the only honoree selected twice for a Hollywood star on the Walk of Fame.

With its celebrated architecture and opulent interiors, the theatre has become a film industry standard synonymous with “red carpet events.” Famous film premieres include West Side Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Mary Poppins, Giant, and Star Wars. The most recent premieres are Solo: A Star Wars Story and Avengers: Infinity War. From 1944 to 1946, the Chinese Theatre hosted the Academy Awards, marking the first time a theatre featured an Oscars venue.

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Fun Fact: The 1977 premiere of the original Star Wars, Episode IV was shown at the theatre. You can see star imprints of Darth Vader, C-3PO, and R2-D2 near the entrance.

In 1968, the theatre became one of Los Angles’ historical landmarks. Ted Mann purchased the theatre in 1973, and after Grauman’s death, changed the name to the Chinese Mann’s Theatre. In 2000 Mann filed bankruptcy and sold the theatre to Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures, who changed it back to its original name. In 2013, the Chinese Theatre announced a collaboration with Chinese manufacturers, TCL, hence the name changes again. That same year the theatre underwent a renovation, debuting its new IMAX theatre with a 3D showing of The Wizard of Oz.

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In addition to film premieres, TCL hosts over 50 events annually, from concerts and film festivals to other Hollywood gatherings. The Grauman’s Ballroom is open to the public for special bookings and important events. The room showcases a majestic bar and stage for entertainment acts.

TCL Chinese Theatre - VIP Tours Cost and Hours

This exclusive 30-minute walking tour features Hollywood fun facts and stories. Tours are offered from 10:15 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day except Monday. Advanced reservations are encouraged. (Group rates are available)

  • Adult tour tickets: $18.
  • Senior tour tickets: $14
  • Children tour tickets: $8.

A full bar is available for guests 21 and over. The TCL VIP Lounge includes a private restroom.

TCL Chinese Theatre Parking

The parking structure is open 24 hours, seven days a week. Guests can park up to four hours with a $3 validation from the TCL Chinese Theatre and the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres. The cost is $2.00 every 20 minutes with a maximum daily fee of $17.

Fun Fact: The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce does not remove stars from the Walk of Fame, no matter how notorious or controversial the celebrity may become!


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Written By Erin

Erin Poche` is a Utah-based writer and editor for Tripster and contributing writer for BeyondType1. She also writes and edits for an indie publisher of fanta ...

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