Friday, March 11, 2011
Hollywood 101: Hollywood’s Original Showman
The Silent Man” and had stars like Cecil B. DeMille, D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin in attendance on opening night. The Million Dollar was the place to go. And its success allowed Grauman to purchase the Rialto and the Metropolitan down the street. Yet, he sold all his interests in the downtown theaters to focus on a new location – Hollywood.
Robin Hood.” Tickets for the premiere were a whopping $5, and the film ran in no other theater in LA for the rest of the year. The next big premiere was Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” with which Grauman himself produced a live preshow including 100 costumed performers, a trait he would continue in all his theaters as long as he was able.
Though the days of the glamorous theaters are gone, all three palaces still exist today. After the industry lost interest in downtown, Broadway started to become the Spanish community’s movie paradise. In 1949, the Million Dollar was purchased by Frank Fouce, a local Spanish language theater owner, and became the place to see Spanish-language films and performers. However, due to deteriorating times, the Million Dollar closed in 1993 and was sold off to a church who took very poor care of it, destroying much of the interior design. However the church eventually evacuated to another old movie palace down the road. The theater reopened in 2008 after spending more than $1 million on its refurbishment and is again focusing on the Spanish community.
Blade Runner" (1982), for across the street is the famous Bradbury building which was used throughout the film, especially for the climatic ending.)