Last week, the theater announced it had sold the naming rights to the Chinese Electronics Giant, TCL. The funds will be used to refurbish the theater and bring it back to its original glory. Of all the branding opportunities and acquisitions being made from China these days, this one seems extremely fitting!
For decades, people wondered what was the relationship between the famed “Chinese Theater” in Hollywood, and China!
Until recently, absolutely none, except that the legendary mogul Sid Grauman, who built the theater in 1926, actually had many people scoping for antiques in China. He wanted to build the most grand, elegant, exotic theater in the world, and he decided that a Chinese theme was the way to go.
I learned this from Hillsman Wright of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, who also spoke at the ceremony, (along with Bill Paxton who spoke about his experience working in China on SHANGHAI CALLING!) Check out these beautiful old photos, courtesy of Hillsman!