Graumann’s Chinese Theater has been a landmark on Hollywood Blvd. since 1927. Since then it has played a part in many motion picture premieres. In 1973 it became Mann’s Chinese Theater until Ted Mann divorced the wife, Rhonda Fleming. A year later he went bankrupt. It reverted to it’s original name until TCL, a Chinese electronics company purchased the naming rights 2013, renaming it the TCL Chinese Theater.
West Side Story, Mary Poppins and even Star Wars all premiered at the Chinese Theater over the years. Today it is still a hot property that Motion Picture Studios still try to book the theater for new movie premieres.
One of the most famous features of the theater is the celebrity handprints immortalized in cement. There are a number of stories about how they came to be, but the most widely retold, involves an actress, Norma Talmadge, accidentally stepped in wet cement.
Here you can see the handprints of John Wayne along with his fist. Whoopi Goldberg pushed a dreadlock into her cement and Mel Brooks wore a sixth finger on his right hand. Not all of the handprints are on display at any one time. With several hundred prints having been done, there are always some being repaired and just in storage.
Like many historic landmarks, The Chinese Theater is also haunted. In 1982, actor, Victor Killian was bludgeoned to death in his nearby apartment in 1982. He is purported to search the streets looking for his murderer. Employees have also reported strange noises and movement behind the theaters heavy curtain.