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As American films invade China, theaters stateside are being taken over by Chinese companies.
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Boulevard landmark built in 1927 and Los Angeles’ most famed movie and premiere venue, will now be known as TCL Chinese Theatre as part of a 10-year, $5 million deal with the TV manufacturer TCL. The company, based in China, is the fourth-largest maker of televisions in the world and is looking to get a foothold in the American market.
“This is one of the landmarks of North America,” Hao Yi, vice president of TCL Group, said. “It can be a bridge to link the cultures of China and North America.”
The theater draws 4 million visitors a year and is heavily used as the preferred location for Hollywood red carpet premieres.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the deal includes a marketing campaign to promote both Tinseltown and the theater as well as an obligation to fund improvements to the structure built 85 years ago by Sid Grauman. The deal comes after producers Ellie Samaha and Don Kushner bought the theater from Warner Bros. and Viacom in April 2011. It was built with architectural elements from China, including bells and pagodas, and was declared a landmark in 1968.
China’s Wanda Group finalized a purchase of the AMC movie theater chain in September for $2.6 billion and pledged $500 million in renovations to the chain’s facilities.
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