Hollywood Activities

Feel the celebrity handprints at Mann's Chinese Theatre.

It was once stated that “to visit Los Angeles and not see the Chinese is like visiting China and not seeing the Great Wall.” Grauman’s opulent, awe-inspiring presence and history has been a cornerstone of Hollywood for over 75 years. The grand opening of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on May 18, 1927, was the most spectacular theatre opening in motion picture history. Thousands of people lined Hollywood Boulevard and a riot broke out as fans tried to catch a glimpse of the movie stars and other celebrities as they arrived for the opening. The film being premiered that night was Cecil B. DeMille's “The King of Kings,” which was preceded by "Glories of the Scriptures," a live prologue devised by master showman Sid Grauman. A Wurlitzer organ and 65-piece orchestra provided music for the prologue. The theatre opened to the public the following day, May 19, 1927. Previously, Grauman built the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles and the lavish Egyptian Theatre a few blocks from the Chinese, but he wanted to build his dream theatre. Real estate mogul C.E. Toberman helped him secure a long-term lease on a piece of property on the boulevard and Grauman developed the plans for the theatre with architect Raymond Kennedy. Norma Talmadge turned the first spade full of dirt in January 1926 and beautiful Chinese actress Anna May Wong drove the first rivet in the steel girders. Built at a cost of $2,000,000, eighteen months later the Chinese Theatre opened. Authorization had to be obtained from the U.S. government to import temple bells, pagodas, stone Heaven Dogs and other artifacts from China. Poet and film director Moon Quon came from China, and under his supervision Chinese artisans created many pieces of statuary in the work area that eventually became the Forecourt of the Stars. Most of these pieces still decorate the ornate interior of the theatre today. April 30, 1927: Practicing for the very first footprint ceremony, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Sid Grauman (kneeling) later placed individual prints in two separate squares. Protected by it’s 40-foot high curved walls and copper-topped turrets, the theatre’s legendary forecourt serves as an oasis to the stars of yesterday and today. Ten-foot tall lotus-shaped fountains and intricate artistry flank the footprints of some of Hollywood’s most elite and welcome its visitors into the magical world of fantasy and whim known as Hollywood. The theatre rises 90-feet high and two gigantic coral red columns topped by wrought iron masks hold aloft the bronze roof. Between the columns is a 30-foot high dragon carved from stone. Guarding the theatre entrance to this day are the two original giant Heaven Dogs brought from China. Grauman never owned the theatre outright, but held a one-third interest with his partners, Howard Schenck, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Grauman sold his share to Fox West Coast Theatres in 1929 and was the Managing Director of the theatre until his death in 1950. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is the most sought-after theatre in Hollywood for studio premieres. Fans flock to these events to see the celebrities arrive and walk up the red carpet into the theatre. Rich in movie tradition, with its cement handprints and footprints in the forecourt, the Chinese Theatre immortalizes the brightest stars. More than four-million visitors from all over the world visit Grauman’s every year. The Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was declared a historic-cultural landmark in 1968, and there has always been a restoration program in process to maintain the theatre's beauty. Following the 1994 Los Angeles earthquake, geological experts were brought in to inspect the theatre and advise the owners with regard to protecting and strengthening the entire structure. The theatre has undergone a major renovation. Timed to coincide with the opening of the Hollywood & Highland mall and the new Mann Chinese 6 Theatre, the renovation is designed to rejuvenate and enhance the Chinese Theatre. Additionally, several earthquake retrofits were required to protect the structure and ensure its permanence. With this facelift, the Chinese Theatre will continue to be the preferred location for the industries’ most prestigious premieres for years to come. Grauman's Chinese Theatre VIP Backstage Tours
Be a star!!! Experience the famous Grauman's Chinese as if you were a movie star. The only tour in Hollywood that takes you backstage to the newly renovated Grauman's Chinese. On your walk to fame you will be guided through the new Mann Chinese 6 theatres, featuring the VIP Lounge. Learn the history that is unique to the Chinese dating back to 1927 along with fun facts about the famous Grauman's Chinese forecourt. Tours are offered 7 days a week. Please call in advance for tour times and prices. For more information call: 323-463-9576
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irishlass said...

Take an Art Tour with the Museum of Neon Art.

The MONA Neon Cruise

JOIN US for a nighttime bus tour of neon signs, movie marquees and permanent installations of contemporary neon art through Downtown and Hollywood. Developed by MONA beginning in 1985, the narrated tour points out prime examples on local neon's aestehtic dimensions...placing them firmly with the context of 20th century Los Angeles culture and history.

2006 Cruise Schedule


JUNE 3 / 10 / 17 / 24
JULY 1 / 8 / 15 / 22 / 29
AUGUST 5 / 12 / 19 / 26
SEPTEMBER 2 / 9 / 23 / 30
OCTOBER 7 / 14 / 21

All cruises 7:30PM to 10:30PM
MONA Members: $35
Non-members: $45

All neon cruises meet at MONA.
Due to the limited availability of bus seating,
tickets are not refundable, although MONA will try
to accommodate transfers to other dates.

Call 213-489-9918 — Fax 213-489-9932

MUSEUM OF NEON ART / 501 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 101
Los Angeles, CA 90015

irishlass said...

Special Tours of the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre - 6712 Hollywood Boulevard


Upcoming Tours: April 8 & 9 and June 17 & 18, 2006! For the total “Old Hollywood” experience add a tour of the legendary 1922 Egyptian Theatre. See what it would have been like to be in a Grauman stage show with a visit to the dressing rooms and singers' boxes. Check out our state-of-the-art projection booth and more! Discover the painstaking restoration work and the marriage of modern technology with a landmark of Hollywood history.
Tickets: $5. Tour & movie: $10. Call 323.461.2020, ext. 3 for schedule changes. Screening Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 PM & 3:30 PM and with behind the scenes historic theatre tours (offered once a month).

You do not need to be a group to participate. Tours will start promptly at 10:30 AM at the box office. Tours are approximately 60 min. Wear your walking shoes! You will see the old dressing rooms, the singer's boxes and the projection booth (not normally included on our tours). Reservations are not required, we have room for everyone. You can check our website or our voicemail for emergency cancellations. Tours will be held rain or shine. If you want to reserve, you may do so by sending a fax to 323.461.9737 with credit card payment or pre-purchase your ticket at the box office. Prices for these public tours are the same as below. For a total "Old Hollywood" experience, combine a tour with a screening of FOREVER HOLLYWOOD and lunch at Musso & Frank's or Miceli's (call for hours).

The 1922 Egyptian Theatre has a rich history. Go behind the scenes and learn about the restoration and renovation of this important Hollywood landmark. We offer private group tours of the Egyptian Theatre which can be scheduled by calling 323 461 2020 ext. 115. Your group must be 10 or more people. If you do not have a group and would like to join a pre-scheduled group tour call 323.461.2020, ext. 121 to find out about dates for upcoming group tours that you can join! Students/Children (12 & under) /Srs/Cinematheque Members (65+) are $5 each and Adults are $7. All group tours must be pre-paid.

Tues. - Sun, 10:30 am - 4:00 pm. Tours are available in French and Spanish as well as English if reservations are made in advance. Your historic tour includes a 60 (approx.) minute tour/talk about this exotic movie palace and an Egyptian Theatre hand-out to take home.

And stay for one of their special movie series ... Past/Future events have included:

April 7 - 16, 2006 8th Annual Festival of Film Noir

December 22, 2005 - January 1, 2006 Screwballs, Pratfalls & Catcalls: American Comedy Classics of the 1930's and 1940's

Groovy Movies From the Shagadelic 60's and Kick Off Event with The Comets

February 7, 2005 Ain't It Cool Sneak Anime Preview!

Anonymous said...

Hollywood Welcomes

Dearly Departed Tours

Your Director of Undertakings, Scott Michaels, will narrate you through decades of death, murder, and just plain fun. Once your tour um... departs, you will be treated to the most tickling tales of tinsel town tragedies, in the cool comfort of the luxurious Dearly Departed Tomb Buggy.

In two and a half hours, you will be escorted to such infamous locations such as

The Manson Murders (the LaBianca site as well)

Both the Ambassador Hotel where Bobby Kennedy was assassinated and the service station where James Dean picked up his Porsche less than 12 hours before his death have been demolished. These sights have been replaced with others...

Paramount/RKO Studios, Mae West's last home, the Happy Days house


events of a more scandalous nature.

There is one restroom stop where you can drop your trousers and reenact George Michael's most scandalous moment. A complimentary copy of his arrest report will be provided to all DDT guests.

You will also see several film locations such as...

Sunset Boulevard, Halloween, The Graduate, That Thing You Do, Dead Again, Grease, and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane

And wait there's more!

The last gasp locations of Frank Sinatra, William Frawley, River Phoenix,
Dee Dee Ramone, Albert Dekker, Bela Lugosi

The REAL Nightmare on Elm Street (The Menendez home)

and of course, that chick that jumped off the Hollywood Sign

All in all, almost 100 sites are crammed into almost 3 hours, making it the best bang for your buck.