Chinese Theatre Set to Be World's Largest IMAX

The TCL Chinese Theatres will close on May 1 for renovations.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Friday, Apr 12, 2013  |  Updated 11:46 AM PDT
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Hollywood Chinese Theatre to Be World's Largest IMAX

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IMAX Corporation and the TCL Chinese Theatres announced that the landmark is set to receive an IMAX screen this summer, making it the world's largest IMAX auditorium.

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They say that change doesn't come in drips and drabs but often all at once, or in threes, or in a single season, or something to that effect.

They're definitely correct where Hollywood's landmark Chinese Theatre is concerned. The world's most famous movie theatre -- let's just be honest here: it is, right? -- received a new header at the beginning of this year when Chinese television maker TCL purchased it (changing it to TCL Chinese Theatre instead of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre.)

Now the TCL Chinese Theatre is set for another big change: It's getting an IMAX screen.

The announcement was made on Friday, April 12 by IMAX Corporation and Chinese Theatres LLC.

Set to close on May 1, the Chinese Theatre will reopen some time in late summer. When it does, it will become the largest IMAX auditorium on the planet, seating capacity-wise. It will also be "the third-largest commercial screen in North America."

"Closing of the agreement is subject to the issuance of final permits," says a theatre rep.

The forecourt and Grauman's Ballroom will not close during construction, tourists and handprint-loving locals will be happy to hear.

No word was given on any other renovations to take place during the screen's installation, but here's hoping the landmark's beautiful and quintessential 1927-ness remains very 1927-y, even as new cinema technologies take a seat at the world's most famous movie theatre.

Hmm. Can those new technologies help some of our other older, ailing theatres while keeping their character intact? Popcorn-scented food for thought.

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