Grauman's Chinese Theater for Sale?
It may not be a state monument or an historical city-owned property, but Grauman's Chinese Theater is an integral part of Hollywood -- both of its history and its daily commerce as part of the Mann Theater chain.
That's why a Hollywood Reporter story is inevitably cause for alarm. The report says that the cratering economy and shifts in movie distribution and viewing habits are forcing Warner Brothers and Viacomm, the entertainment giants that co-operate the Chinese, to consider selling it off. HR says that another scenario would be to instead unload the Art Deco Criterion Theater, located on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade.
Only recently it was announced that Westwood Village's Bruin and Village theaters were losing their Mann leaseholders and, HR notes, Westwood's Crest Theater is up for sale. Grauman's Chinese was built in 1927. (Note: We earlier incorrectly stated the Bruin and Village were closing. See Evan's comment below.)
"Fortunately," wrote Gebhard and Winter in Architecture in Los Angeles, "nobody has tried to 'modernize' it." If the Chinese does sell, one can only hope it will either remain a
theater, or that, at least, its new owners will maintain its historic facade.
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