The date was October 18, 1922. A new movie theatre was opening in Hollywood and to celebrate, a new film was debuted in a brand new way. It was a gala premier with all the bright lights and glitz, glamour and hoopla that Hollywood is now famous for. All the biggest names in motion pictures were gathered, with both stars and industry insiders on hand to see the silent classic, “Robin Hood,” starring Douglas Fairbanks for its first showing on the big screen. The event was a huge success and marked the beginning of what would become a Hollywood tradition, thanks to this up and coming Hollywood showman.
Prior to this grand opening, however, his career was as diverse and wide raging as could be imagined. As a boy, his family moved to the Yukon, where he sold newspapers to the local miners. He later moved to San Francisco and opened up a vaudeville theater with his father. After it was destroyed by the 1904 earthquake, he opened theaters in New York City and San Jose before moving to Los Angeles around 1906. It was there where he found legendary success.
His name was Sidney Patrick Grauman, best known for his landmark Grauman’s Chinese Theater, now called TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Millions of tourists have visited it over the years to view the concrete foot and handprints of over 200 celebrities in front of the theater. Known and admired by many in show business, Grauman’s storied career also included an honorary Academy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Sid Grauman passed away on March 5, 1950 and is interred at Forest Lawn-Glendale.