Located on the iconic Hollywood Boulevard, Grauman's Chinese Theatre is the world's most famous movie theatre and was built by legendary showman Sid Grauman. Opening in 1927 with the premier of The King of Kings film by Cecil B. DeMille, the theatre has since hosted hundreds of iconic movie premiers including the 1939 premier of The Wizard of Oz which attracted 10,000 spectators as well as more recently, the launch of the George Lucas film Star Wars in 1977. The theatre also hosted three Academy Awards ceremonies in the 1940s and these days is home to the world's single largest IMAX auditorium with a seating capacity of 932 people.
The theatre is named after its ornate exterior which resembles a giant red Chinese pagoda. The amazing exterior and forecourt features oriental-style architecture complete with two stone lion-dogs which guard the main entrance, a giant dragon which winds its way over the front of the building and tiny dragon silhouettes which graces the sides of the building's elaborate copper roof. One of the most distinctive and famous features of the theater's forecourt are the concrete blocks bearing the signatures and hand and foot prints of a variety of famous movie stars from the 1920s to today.
A popular stop for any Hollywood guided tour, tourists love the opportunity to spot and pose with the concrete blocks of their favourite famous actors. Some blocks are particularly worn due to the number of tourists who put their own hands and feet in the prints for a photo opportunity. Some of the most popular celebrities featured in the concrete blocks are Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne and Shirley Temple. Visiting the forecourt is free to everyone and there are also 30 minute walking tours available for a small fee. Tourists and locals alike can also experience the magic of seeing a movie inside the theatre for around $10.