Thursday, August 7, 2008

Greetings From Grauman's Chinese Theater

Here are two vintage postcard views of the now iconic Grauman's Chinese Theatre during its golden age of Hollywood heyday. Showman Sid Grauman built this elaborate movie palace with the help of investors Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Howard Schenck. It opened on May 18, 1927 with the premiere of the Cecil B.DeMille film The King of Kings. Grauman had previously built the equally elaborate but less famous Egyptian Theatre a few years earlier.

Grauman's Chinese Theater has achieved its legendary status primarily due to its well known forecourt where movie stars and Hollywood celebrities have long been immortalized via cement block footprints, handprints and signatures. Grauman explained how he literally stumbled upon the idea for his Walk of Fame on a Lux Radio Theatre program in 1937. "I walked right into it. While we were building the theatre, I accidentally happened to step in some soft concrete. And there it was. So, I went to Mary Pickford immediately. Mary put her foot into it." Partner Douglas Fairbanks quickly followed suit and thus the famous Hollywood tradition was born.

Jump over to 2719 Hyperion where we document all the Hollywood personalities that appeared in the Mickey Mouse cartoon Mickey's Gala Premier. The 1933 short took place at Grauman's Chinese Theatre and features a caricature of Sid Grauman.