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Grauman's Chinese: the basement


In the basement offstage left. Through the doorway at the right of the photo we head toward the trap room and center stage. Thanks to Wendell Benedetti for his 2013 photo, originally appearing on the LAHTF Facebook page.

He comments: "Vantage: northeast corner of the TCL Chinese Theatre basement. View includes machinery associated with the AC system and the dropped down ceiling (large pale reddish building blocks - in upper portion of the image) that was installed in 1958 to accommodate the Cinemiracle wide screen..."

Note: All the photos on this page were taken prior to the IMAX conversion that dug down deeply into the basement to allow for a steeper rake to the auditorium and sufficient height for the 46' high IMAX screeen. Width wasn't a problem -- the IMAX screen was no wider than the 1958 Cinemiracle screen.



A wide angle view from the far upstage right corner of the basement. At left is the original stage height. The curved brick colored "drop down" downstage represents the incursion into the basement for the 1958 Cinemiracle screen. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2013

His caption: "Vantage: Northwest corner of the TCL Chinese Theatre basement. View includes the original basement ceiling (foreground-left) and the dropped down section (large reddish building blocks with multicolored columns) that was installed in 1958 to accommodate the Cinemiracle wide screen. The larger IMAX screen will require an even greater intrusion into the basement."



Under the dropped down area of the stage -- a look across the trap room toward stage right. The ceiling was lowered during the 1958 renovations.The stairs up into the pit (long ago floored over) are on the left. What had remained of the pit after the 1958 renovation was dug out entirely for the IMAX conversion. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



Another view standing upstage right looking across the trap room toward stage left. Off to the left we get a sense of the original ceiling height. The dropped down area straight ahead gives an idea of how much the front of the stage was cut away and lowered for the installation of the huge Cinemiracle screen in 1958. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



Upstage center in the trap room with the stagehouse backwall at right and the 1958 Cinemiracle "dropdown" at the left. We're looking west across toward stage right. Note that extra plaster cast, presumably from the 2001 remodel, on the floor. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2013



A wide angle view downstage and toward stage right (at right). The doorway at left in the turquoise proscenium wall appears to be for organ access. The steps just left of that center column with the X were the stairs to the center of the pit. The trap room originally had quite a high ceiling. All the area we see here is under the portion of the stage that was lowered for the 1958 Cinemiracle installation. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2013



In the trap room downstage center -- LAHTF's David Saffer guarding a set of stairs that used to lead up into the orchestra pit. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF - 2012



Cooling coils at the main supply fan in the basement. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2013



Scraps of old wallpaper in the basement. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2012



An old door in the basement. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2012 



A detail of the design work on one of the door panels. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2012
 


LAHTF's David Saffer inspecting various artifacts stored in the basement. The mannequin is one that used to be dressed in an elaborate Chinese costume and resided in a display case in the lobby. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF - 2012



A plaster cast of John Barrymore's block from the forecourt. The block was discovered during the LAHTF 2013 "all-about" tour of the building. Thanks to Don Solosan for the photo. On the LAHTF Facebook page he flipped it over for you so the lettering on the block is right side up.

Also on the LAHTF Facebook page: another wallpaper view - Kimberly Vinokur Reiss - 2012 | doors and a painting - Wendell Benedetti - 2012 | rigging item - Wendell Benedetti - 2013 |

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