Grauman’s Chinese Theater Finally in Chinese Hands

January 14, 2013

After 85 years, the world’s most famous movie theater will finally be living up to its name. Chinese TV maker TCL has paid more than $5 million for the naming rights to the venerable Grauman’s Chinese Theatre opened in 1927 by showman Sid Grauman. (LA Times)

If you’re a native Angeleno like myself, the thought of the venerable landmark going by the name “TCL Chinese Theater” probably elicits a sad sigh. Despite its fame, LA hasn’t been around that many years and needs to hold on to as much local history and tradition as possible. We already lost Pup N Taco back in the 80s — what’s next, the Carpeteria Genie?

On the other hand, the idea of a Chinese company buying the naming rights to the iconic “Chinese Theater” is at least a source of amusement. Sure, some folks might see parallels here with the Japanese purchase of Rockefeller Center back in the 90s, but I say there is nothing to worry about.

It’s the Chinese theater, after all. It’s almost like Hong Kong and Macau going back to the PRC in the 90s, and although there was never an unequal treaty that snatched the theater from the Qing Dynasty, I’m going to consider this purchase by TCL a reversion back to the rightful owners. Heaven knows that California still owes the Chinese people for a lot of past wrongdoings.

The term “Red Carpet” will never be the same again.