Facelifts are nothing new in Hollywood but the one just given to the 86-year-old Chinese Theatre is among the very best.
The landmark movie palace recently reopened following its conversion into the world’s largest IMAX auditorium with better sightlines, taller screen and stadium seating. But I’m happy to report that all the traditional grandeur and décor – from the decorative ceiling to the Chinese dragons – remain alongside the modern technology.
Anxious to check out the interior of one of the most popular sites on my Movie Locations Tour – the TCL Chinese Theatre (as it’s now called) was featured in Iron Man 3 and many other films – I was given a VIP tour by the venue’s charming Peter Morton, a fellow Brit and font of knowledge.
He pointed out so much of the building’s fascinating history including the fact that several of the striking Chinese murals there were painted by Asian American actor Key Luke, who went on to star in Kung Fu, Green Hornet, Charlie Chan and Gremlins.
The lobby features memorabilia from the great films which have premiered there over the years – from The Wizard of Oz to Lincoln – as well as a display of classic movie costumes and then of course in courtyard are the hand and footprints of the stars and the prints of some other things – such as the cigar of Groucho Marx and Harry Potter’s magic wand.
On my visit I ran into a talented comedy actor who may well have his own prints on the famous forecourt before too long, Kevin Bishop (pictured) from ABC’s hilarious new sitcom Super Fun Night.
I highly recommend you take the behind the scenes tour of the world’s most famous movie theatre – but only after you’ve first taken my Celebrity Insider tour of LA of course J
by SANDRO MONETTI