BACKSTORY: From the Grauman’s website: 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. 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. 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 was designed to rejuvenate and enhance the Chinese Theatre. Additionally, several earthquake retrofits were required to protect the structure and ensure its permanence. The theater is famous for its famous footprints in the forecourt. One afternoon in 1927, Grauman took actress Norma Talmadge to see the progress of his latest movie palace. She accidentally stepped into a block of newly poured cement, leaving her footprint. Grauman had a creative brainstorm and decided to keep the star’s footprint in the cement and had her add an inscription.
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