The Chinese Theatre
6925 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026
On May 18, 1927, Sid Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened with Cecil DeMille's "King of Kings" on screen. On the stage was Mr. Grauman's magnificent prologue, "Glories of the Scripture," with an enormous cast of about 200. The set was a great temple of stone with a huge stairway almost 60 feet wide and about 20 feet tall. The latter part of the prologue presented five tableaux, the last one being "The Last Supper," which were drawn to the center of the stairs by hidden trucks.
All of this, and the picture, were accompanied by a 65-piece symphony conducted by the famous and gifted Constantine Bakaleinikoff. Frederick Burr Scholl was the organist at the console of the 3M/ 17R Wurlitzer. This was, of course, a silent movie, so the music was very important. The program shown gives credit details. The show was an enormous success and ran for months, followed by Douglas Fairbanks in "The Gaucho," Charlie Chaplin in "The Circus,' and many other long-run hits, all presented with a huge prologue devised by Mr. Grauman.
The theater, now so familiar to the world, was entered from a forecourt. The box-office was originally in a lovely Chinese pagoda to the right and rear of the forecourt. The famous hand and footprints of the stars were first done by Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, with their footprints going right from the sidewalk to the center entrance doors.