Grauman’s Chinese Theatre now named after Chinese TV company TCL

By Daniel S Levine,

The most iconic movie theater in the world will be getting a new name. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is being renamed after a Chinese TV manufacturer that purchased the naming rights this week.

The company, called TCL, spent $5 million to get the naming rights, reports The Los Angeles Times. So, one of the most well-known landmarks in the country will now be known as the TCL Chinese Theatre.

“This is one of the landmarks of North America," said TCL vice president Hao Yi. “It can be a bridge to link the cultures of China and North America.”

Nearly 4 million people visit the theatre, which is the site of several Hollywood premieres each year.

The theater is owned by producers Elie Samaha and Donald Kushner, who bought it in 2011 with Viacom and Warner Bros., reports The Wrap. They promised to restore the theater to its former glory, which was built in 1927.

“We're actively going after the studios for premieres and afterparties,” Samaha promised last year. “We're going to do it very cost-efficiently so the studios don't have to get shocked. Our prices will be super-competitive.”

The theater was built by Hollywood showman Sid Grauman and silent film legends Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. It opened with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings and is located on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was once known as the Mann's Chinese Theater after Ted Mann owned it, but the studios renamed it after Grauman.

This news comes as Chinese companies continue to influence Hollywood. China's Dalian Wanda Group is now the owner of AMC, the second-largest theater chain in the U.S. Several studios are now also working with Chinese production companies to co-finance films.

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