Grauman's Chinese Theater

Hollywood Boulevard is lined with legends, one of the most recognizable and famous blocks in America.  Here you can wander through bars packed with celebrities, if you are lucky.  But even if you miss the latest movie star sighting, you can still place your hands down on the pavement, enveloped in the hands of Hollywood’s most luminous stars.  This is the claim to fame of Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  And the list of celebrities commemorated has only grown each year since its inception.  Built in the early 1920s during Hollywood’s initial rise to fame, few locations in Los Angeles are as emblematic as Grauman’s Chinese Theater. 

It all started when actor Douglas Fairbanks and actress Mary Pickford stuck their hands into cement – after that it is just legend.  The original co-owners of the Hollywood Chinese Theater, the street is littered with the handprints of the famous, stretching the Boulevard as far as the eye can see.  There are almost 200 immortalized right now, and every year the list grows. 

But that is not the only claim to fame for Graumans Chinese Theater.  It is also the frequent location for top movie premiers and other star-studded events.  The red carpet is rarely empty.  The exterior of the Hollywood Chinese Theater is constructed to resemble a giant red pagoda – its archway is still the mecca for actors and actresses across the country.  It’s even adjacent to theater where the Academy Awards are held.  If your movie breaks at Graumans Chinese Theater, success is likely imminent. 

The interior of the Hollywood Chinese Theater is just as impressive, though less instantly recognizable.  Decked out in wild reds, the imprints of palm trees, and other and other Chinese characters line the aisles.  Historic monument aside, it’s the imprints of stars that keep tourists pouring into Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

The prints are not just relegated to handprints, either.  Some of the movie industry’s most iconic figures leave their calling card – Groucho Marx’s cigar, Roy Rogers’ gun, Jimmy Durante’s nose – all of them can be found along Hollywood Boulevard.  The popularity of Grauman’s Walk of Fame has grown with each passing year, such that today’s most lucrative movie stars have helped the theater grow in legend.

There is certainly no shortage of tourist attractions in Los Angeles – from Beverly Hills to Venice Beach to the mammoth Hollywood sign, the city is jam-packed with atmosphere and fabled landmarks, but few have the cache of Graumans Chinese Theater. 

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