The Chinese Theater

Perhaps the single most identifiable replica at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the building that houses the Great Movie Ride is a scale replica of Grauman's Chinese Theater located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.

This spectacular Chinese themed theatre is possibly the most visited Hollywood landmark. It was the creation of Hollywood showman Sid Grauman.  The architects of the building were Meyer & Holler. The theater opened on May 18, 1927.  It was the followup for Grauman to the successful Egyptian theater which Meyer and Holler had also developed.  Grauman wanted a a "palace type theatre" of Chinese design for his new movie theater.

From 1973 through 2001, the theater was known as Mann's Chinese Theater, and in 2002 the name was restored to the Grauman's Chinese Theater.

Also of interest are the many hand and footprints located in front of the Great Movie Ride.  Like the building's facade, the handprints have a direct connection to the real life building too.

In front of the real theater are about 200 handprints in cement in the theater courtyard.  These cement blocks celebrate famous celebrities who have been to the theater for movie premiers. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, they have been used to celebrate the movie and television stars that visited the park.  In the early days of the Studios, celebrities would be scheduled to visit the park often and as part of their visit, they would immortalize themselves in cement with hand and footprints.

You can find a photo archive of the hand and footprints found in Disney's Hollywood Studios

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About this column

Ever seen something in Hollywood Studios and wondered why it was placed there by Disney's Imagineers? Matt Hochberg leads you on a regular look at the hidden details in Hollywood Studios and explains why it's there.


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Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 by
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