One of London’s oldest and most prestigious cinemas is currently going through a renovation to turn it into an IMAX cinema and it follows in the footsteps of Hollywood’s most famous cinema, Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
Not only is Grauman’s the most famous cinema in Hollywood, it may well be the most famous cinema in the world. The Theater opened on May 18th, 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s The King of Kings and has since gone on to be an iconic landmark in Hollywood.
The theater was recently purchased and renamed the TCL IMAX Chinese Theatre. It will re-open as the largest IMAX in world, by seating capacity, on the 20th of September with a 3D IMAX presentation of The Wizard of Oz.
Slashfilm were amongst the press invited to learn about the conversion of the theater and TCL Chinese Theatre president Alwyn Hight Kushner filled them in on a number of facts about the renovation.
Throughout the renovation they worked with historical and movie preservation societies and anything considered “historic’ was kept, after being given a good clean. One thing that has remained is the theater’s curtain, which will make it the only IMAX theater in the world to have a curtain.
It’s not exactly the most important thing when you go to the cinema but I do like the sense of occasion you feel when a curtain pulls back and the screen is revealed.
IMAX posted a time lapse video of the transformation of the cinema to their YouTube channel and it shows quite how far they had to go in order to convert the cinema.
You also get a very brief glimpse of what it would appear was the first film shown on the new screen. Or at least part of it was.
Did you catch it? It’s around the 2:20 mark and features a Persian King.