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Grauman's Chinese Theatre

 Image The Grauman's Chinese Theater
Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened over 70 years ago, with the 1927 debut of the original silent version of "King of Kings," produced by Cecil B. DeMille. Since then, the Chinese Theatre has been the site of more gala Hollywood movie premieres than any other theatre. (In 1939, for instance, over 10,000 spectators showed up for the world premiere of "The Wizard of Oz.)

Most tourists tend to skip the tour of the Chinese theater itself and usually spend thier time in front of the theatre where
there are hand and footprints of almost 200 Hollywood legends suchas Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Carrey, Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and even Donald Duck. (see below for complete list). You can easily spend an hour here if you are a bug movie fan. There are stars all the way from the early 1900s to today which makes it exciting for people of all ages.

The Chinese theatre now offerx a half-hour guided walking tour of the theatre. The charge is $12. The tour takes guests inside the historic theatre, and the guide tells guests about the the history of the theatre, the footprints in the forecourt, the architecture, and about all the world premieres that have been held there. Tour guests get to sit down in the section that is reserved for the VIPs during a world priemere, then venture upstairs to the VIP lounge & balcony in the new Chinese 6 theatres. The tour winds up back stage at the gift shop where guests see costumes from some of Paramount's recent movies. I personally don't think its worth it. If you live in LA, go watch a movie there instead.

Tips while visiting the Grauman's Chinese Theatre:

  •  Do not be tempted to park in the corner parking lot next to the Chinese Theater.  They take $12 for nothing. You can park in the Hollywood and Highland Mall which charges much less and if you have a shopping or a dining validation, you can park for free. Learn from my mistake. :-) 
  •  Obviously choose a sunny day as its all a walk down a street.
  •  You will find a large number of people dressed as Hollywood characters like Spiderman, Marily Monroe, Michael Jackson etc. They expect a tip if you pose with them. 
  •  Don't forget to go to the corner of the Hollywood and Highland Mall. You can see the Hollywood sign from back there.  Its the corner where two elephants are hanging. 
  •  The restaurants in the mall are pretty average fare. Don't expect anything great. 
  •  Last but not the least, do not have any high expectations of Hollywood. Its really a run-down place where wanna-be movie stars live. The place that you really want to visit is Beverly Hills.
  •  I would not recommend the tour of the theatre unless you are a huge movie buff.

Address and Phone Number of Grauman's Chinese Theater
6925 Hollywood Boulevard,
Hollywood, CA. 

 (323) 464-8111 or (323) 461-3331

Chinese Theater Parking:

As I have mentioned, parking can be problematic on Hollywood Boulevard especially on weekdays and Saturdays. You will probably not find parking on the street and even if you do, it will probably be with a 1-hour limit and you would have to return at least once to pay for the meter. Avoid parking in the parking lot right next to the theatre as they charge $12 for no good reason. My recommendation is to park in the Hollywood and Highland mall as the rates there are much more reasonable. If you happen to shop there, you can probably get your ticket validated.