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Renamed Chinese Hollywood cinema goes IMAX

14 april 2013, 12:04
0
©REUTERS
©REUTERS
Hollywood's historic Chinese theater will be transformed into an IMAX big-screen cinema under a deal signed by its owners, after they renamed the Tinseltown landmark, AFP reports.

The theater, which draws millions of tourists every year taking photos of the hand- and footprints of generations of movie stars imprinted in its forecourt, is now officially the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Chinese Theatres LLC announced the deal with Canada's big screen specialist IMAX Corporation for "an extensive transformation of the landmark site."

The renovated theater -- renamed from Grauman's Chinese Theatre after Chinese TV maker TCL paid more than $5 million for the branding rights earlier this year -- will seat 986 people and have a 94-foot (29-meter) screen.

"The addition brings the theater into the 21st century and gives Hollywood its first IMAX theater," said a joint statement, adding that it will be IMAX's largest theater in the world in terms of seating, and America's third largest.

TCL Chinese Theatre head Alwyn Hight Kushner said: "We believe that IMAX's unparalleled entertainment technology, coupled with its blockbuster portfolio of films, will usher in a new era of movie-going at our famed theater."

"Today's agreement is the perfect marriage of Hollywood history and cutting-edge entertainment technology that will transform the moviegoing experience for guests for years to come," added IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond.

IMAX, which operates more than 730 theaters around the world, plans to make the TCL Chinese Theatre a key venue for holding premieres of blockbuster action movies. This year, it is scheduled to host 40 premieres.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre was opened in 1927 by showman Sid Grauman. It is best known for its huge red Chinese pagoda and Chinese dragon overlooking the forecourt. It was declared a historic landmark in 1968.

The theater will be closed during the IMAX-related building work, the landmark building's first major makeover in 85 years, which will begin on May 1 and continue until late summer.

The deal still has to be approved by city authorities.

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