The newly-renamed TCL Chinese Theatre is closing on May 1 for a whole bunch of renovations, but it's not going to end up looking too different. The biggest change will be the 1927 theater's conversion to Imax--it's set to become the largest Imax in the world by seating capacity (986 seats) and one of the largest by screen size (94 feet wide). We'll be doing a full tour of the old girl (legendary theater-man Sid Grauman's masterpiece, perhaps) next week, but for now check out these renderings showing how it'll look post-makeover: not a huge cosmetic difference, as you can see. "[W]e're not changing anything that's historical about the building," President and COO Alwyn Hight Kushner tells us. "All of the beautiful character-defining features will stay as is." The floor (changed many times over the years) will be put on a steeper slope and the enormous new screen will descend partway into what is now the basement, according to Hillsman Wright of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, who's been working with the Chinese. The projection booth will also be moved forward and lowered a bit (over the theater's fake balcony).
Most of the rest of the building will be kept exactly the same. Lighting will be improved throughout the interior and in the exterior forecourt, and the exterior landscaping will get an update. (There's also a new bar and restaurant opening in the neighbor Chinese 6 this summer.) The TCL Chinese is set to reopen post-reno in late summer and immediately get to hosting Imax movies and premieres.
· Chinese Theatre Getting Enormous Imax Venue For Premieres [Curbed LA]