Chinese Theatre IMAX to Debut to a Round of Some "Oz"

The world's largest IMAX will welcome Dorothy and pals in September.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Tuesday, Aug 6, 2013  |  Updated 5:59 PM PDT
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Chinese Theatre IMAX to Debut to a Round of Some "Oz"

MGM

"The Wizard of Oz" will be the first movie show in the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX. The classic, which premiered at the landmark in 1939, will enjoy a one-week run starting on Friday, Sept. 20.

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When Dorothy Gale paused in that black-and-white barnyard, the better to rhapsodize about going over the rainbow and that happy little place where bluebirds fly, her intention was clear: She wanted to fully enter that magical land.

Viewers may feel as if they're doing the same starting on Friday, Sept. 20 when the world's largest IMAX venue makes its public debut at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. And to celebrate? "The Wizard of Oz" will roll, in 3D, on one colossal canvas.

Yeah, you just might feel as if you're right there, cavorting with the Lollipop Guild.

The movie palace, which was purchased by TCL in early 2013, shuttered in May to make way for one of the planet's biggest movie screens and the largest IMAX theater to date.

"The Wizard of Oz" will be the first film shown after the re-opening. It's an apt choice, given that we're heading into the fantasy classic's 75th anniversary -- expect to see all things Toto, everywhere, all the time, over the next year -- and that the movie had its 1939 premiere at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard.

That's the address of the theater, but then you surely have that memorized, movie maven, right?

Southern California won't have exclusive dibs on Dorothy and her in-need-of-brains-heart-and-courage pals, however; "The Wizard of Oz" will run for a week in both Hollywood and at various IMAX theaters elsewhere.

We've no intention of getting competitive with other places, but, of course, there's only one theater in the world where Judy Garland's handprints are out front. "To Mr. Grauman, All Happiness" reads the message the actress left in cement in October of 1939, just two months after "Wizard" premiered at the venue.

And you know that songwriter Harold Arlen got the idea for "Over the Rainbow" as he and his wife were driving down Sunset to see a film at the Chinese Theatre? Don't stick that one in your "cool but probably apocryphal Hollywood stories" file just yet; it's straight from the official Harold Arlen site.

Yeah, we all eat this kind of stuff up 'round these parts. Tasty Tinseltown tidbits.

"The Wizard of Oz" 3D opens for its week-long run at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Friday, Sept. 20. Tickets are on sale now.

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