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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas in the News   » Grauman's Chinese SOLD! (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Grauman's Chinese SOLD!
Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted April 28, 2011 01:31 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
Grauman's Chinese Theatre (and the Chinese 6) has been sold according to the LA Times

quote:
Grauman's Chinese Theatre to be sold to movie producers
April 28, 2011 | 12:54 pm

One of Hollywood's most iconic landmarks, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, is once again changing hands.

A partnership between Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures parent Viacom Inc. has signed an agreement to sell the historic theater on Hollywood Boulevard for an undisclosed sum to a pair of movie producers: Don Kushner, executive producer of "Tron: Legacy," and the flamboyant and controversial entrepreneur Elie Samaha, two people familiar with the deal said Thursday.

The sale, which is scheduled to close May 20, also includes the Mann's Chinese 6 multiplex, located in the adjacent Hollywood and Highland retail mall.

The single-screen Grauman's -- known for its giant, red Chinese pagoda, signature Chinese dragon guard dogs at the entrance and cement block footprints and hand prints of famous Hollywood figures -- was declared a historic and cultural landmark in 1968.

Neither Samaha nor Kushner were immediately available to discuss their plans for the theater, but one person familiar with the matter said the theater will continue to screen movies and host premieres and that the new owners plan to upgrade food and beverage services.

The sale involves the buildings only and not the land the theater sits on, which in 2008 was sold to the CIM Group, which owns the Hollywood and Highland complex and other commercial properties in Hollywood.

Representatives of Warner, Viacom and Mann declined to comment on the pending sale.

Samaha, who has owned dry cleaners and nightclubs in Los Angeles, made waves more than a decade ago when he ventured into the movie business, producing such films as Bruce Willis' hit "The Whole Nine Yards" and John Travolta's box-office flop "Battlefield Earth."

But his business practices led to a high-profile legal battle with the German company Intertainment AG, which alleged in a fraud and racketeering lawsuit in 2000 that Franchise Pictures, the independent film company headed by Samaha, had made up inflated budgets for such movies as "Battlefield Earth." Samaha had denied any wrongdoing. Intertainment was awarded $122 million in damages, but was unable to collect the money and ultimately settled the complex legal brawl for $3 million.

Warner and Viacom have been trying to sell the historic theater for more than a year but had struggled to find a buyer.

Warner and Viacom acquired Grauman's Chinese Theatre in 2001 along with six other theaters owned by Encino-based Mann Theatres after the circuit declared bankruptcy in the face of rising competition from large theater chains.

Mann continues to operate theaters in Hollywood, Glendale, Van Nuys and Thousand Oaks.

Ted Mann, owner of the Mann chain, had purchased Grauman's Chinese in 1973; it then operated under the Mann name for nearly three decades.

Sid Grauman and partners that included silent screen stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks financed construction of the theater, which opened in 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's film "The King of Kings." Over the decades it has hosted several Academy Awards ceremonies and was used for scores of high-profile premieres, including George Lucas' "Star Wars" in 1977.


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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted April 28, 2011 01:41 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
What will this mean about who runs and books it? Will this mean it will finally get decent bookings again?

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Jeff Arellano
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Posts: 685
From: Monterey Park, CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 28, 2011 03:27 PM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano         Edit/Delete Post 
And the bleeding at Mann Theaters continues...

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Brad Erickson
Member

Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006


 - posted April 28, 2011 04:21 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
Mann will soon be a fond memory. It will be interesting to see how and who does the booking. I'm thinking the new owners will have some chain book it for them.

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted April 28, 2011 04:25 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Would have to be a big chain, especially if Mann can't even keep up the fight with Arclight.

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Brad Erickson
Member

Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006


 - posted April 28, 2011 04:31 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
Have you all read the full article? There is speculation of the Chinese being converted into a nightclub. WTF!?!?

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Danny Baldwin
Member

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From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted April 28, 2011 05:03 PM      Profile for Danny Baldwin   Author's Homepage   Email Danny Baldwin         Edit/Delete Post 
Huh? The article doesn't say that.

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Brad Erickson
Member

Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006


 - posted April 28, 2011 05:08 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/graumans-chinese-theatre-be-sold-183344

Several Hollywood sources said they had heard that the new owners are considering turning the theater, which has 1,152 seats, into a nightclub. It's worth noting that Samaha has interests in two historic Hollywood Boulevard movie theaters that have recently be turned into nightlife venues: the Fox Theatre and Vogue Theatre.

Leron Gubler, CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and Nicole Mihalka, a commercial real estate broker at Cushman & Wakefield, both said they had heard talk about the Chinese Theatre being converted to a nightclub. However, Tronson said he doesn't expect that to occur, adding that the new owners had not mentioned such a potential change to him.

"That would kill all the interest from people who are interested in coming there," Tronson said.

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Christopher Crouch
Member

Posts: 292
From: Anaheim, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted April 29, 2011 08:55 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
I find it highly unlikely they would attempt a full conversion to a nightclub (maybe the 6, but not Grauman's). The civic/PR hassles and legal battles would be far too troublesome for it to be worthwhile. That rumor is more likely the result of people making assumptions based on Mr. Samaha's other business ventures than anything that has actually been suggested. However, I would speculate that they will attempt to initiate more non movie use options. I could also see them experimenting with something like food and alcohol service, attempting to turn it in to more of an upscale, "hip", venue.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted April 29, 2011 09:12 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
In light of what's been done at some of the downtown LA palaces (Mayan) - and the Vogue/Fox - it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see Grauman's reduced to a friggin nightclub. Hate to say it, but it is what it is.

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Rob Alexander
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From: Palm Springs, CA
Registered: Oct 2010


 - posted May 03, 2011 01:28 PM      Profile for Rob Alexander   Email Rob Alexander         Edit/Delete Post 
TCM announced it will have a 2012 festival. They did NOT give a location, just more details to be announced later.......

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Christopher Crouch
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Posts: 292
From: Anaheim, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted May 18, 2011 05:53 PM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
I went on the Grauman's tour this morning (just in case). While the staff obviously isn't privileged to all of the future plans under the new ownership, they made it sound like the theatre will continue in a "business as usual" fashion for now.

When I asked our tour guide about the new owners/changes, she stated that they offered many of the current workers positions and there was an orientation being held, for those who accepted, today (5/18). She also mentioned future bookings (new X Men movie) and pending premiers. I have no reason to believe she was providing misleading information or following what she was told to say, as she sounded a bit bitter about her own employment (i.e. she had every reason to be brutally honest). My inquiry seemed to have opened up a wound with her and I accidently caused the tour to close out on a sour note (she was upset that the new owners had hired the same people, who made "poor decisions", and didn't start with a clean slate). My tour faux pas aside, it was a relief to hear, at least for now, there definitely aren't plans to stop showing movies.

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Brad Erickson
Member

Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006


 - posted May 19, 2011 09:10 AM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
Nice to hear, I was planning on going this weekend to see True Legend at the Chinese 6 and will difinately see X-MEN when it opens. Mann probably have films booked already for the summer. Thanks for the update.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted May 27, 2011 08:11 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
FYI (and everyone who's a member of Cinema Treasures already knows this), Mann no longer operates the theatre - or Chinese 6 - as of today. The new owners have a new website up:

www.chinesetheatres.com

Also, the Mann Theatres ad in the LA Times is down to 4 theatres.

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Jeff Arellano
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From: Monterey Park, CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted May 27, 2011 10:17 AM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano         Edit/Delete Post 
5 theaters. And 2 are closing soon...

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