TCL Chinese Theatre celebrates 90 years of premieres, famous imprints in Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The former Grauman Chinese Theatre draws in more than 4 million visitors every year and it's celebrating 90 years of entertaining people in Hollywood.

Tinseltown's biggest celebrities have left their mark on the historic cultural landmark. From Marilyn Monroe to Frank Sinatra, John Travolta and Loretta Young.

It's also hosted large premieres for movies such as "Titanic," "Avatar," and "Mary Poppins." More than 300 actors, producers and directors have been honored with imprints just outside the theatre.

Director Ridley Scott was the latest person to leave his mark.

"It's the history. Whichever way you look at it or think about it, it's the most important place for movies in the world. That's it," he said.

The forecourt - where all of the stars' prints are cemented - started as an accident. General manager Levi Tinker said it was not Sid Grauman's original intention to have the hand and footprints there.

"It began when silent film star Norma Talmadge was walking through and stepped in wet cement - a complete accident. Sid Grauman saw this and the idea struck him as a great way to promote the opening of the theater," he said.

Grauman asked his friend Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford to do the same. But since then, it's been more than just hands and feet.

Tinker said cemented in time is also Sean Connery's bare feet, Jimmy Durante's nose, George Burns' cigar and the hoofprints of Trigger, a horse brought by Roy Rogers.

But every now and then, someone stumbles into the TCL Chinese Theatre looking for dinner reservations rather than taking in the iconic Hollywood spot.

"People don't necessarily know ahead of time that it's a movie theater. So occasionally you'll get the tourist that comes up and asks for a restaurant reservation because they think it's a restaurant," Tinker said.
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