The 2023 Academy Awards ceremony took just two weekends ago at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood to honor the top films released during 2022. Better known as the Oscars, it marked the 95th time that film industry actors, writers, producers, and industry professionals presented awards for artistic and technical merit for the American film industry.
The Oscars are traditionally an evening of glitz and glamour, with walks by celebrities down the red carpet as they don their stylish outfits in front of adoring fans and media kicking off the festivities. Much of the glitter that surrounds the Hollywood movie industry has roots that trace back to the 1920s. That’s when the great tradition of grand Hollywood movie premiers took place, under the guidance of someone who would become a legend in this field.
His very first movie premiere, held at the Egyptian Theater in 1922 for the silent classic “Robin Hood” starring Douglas Fairbanks, featured all the bells and whistles, bright lights, and pomp and circumstance that to this day is part of the Hollywood culture. Just five years later, in 1927, he raised the bar at the opening of the new Chinese Theatre with a star-studded premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s “King of Kings.” By 1939, this entertainer threw out all the stops for the opening of “The Wizard of Oz,” a spectacle that featured a recreation of the Yellow Brick Road and a corn field that was attended by over 10,000 people.
The guiding force behind the elaborate openings, a tradition that continues to this day, was a man named Sid Grauman, the founder of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. In addition to being known for transforming movie premiers into events, he received an honorary Academy Award in 1949, and has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Grauman passed away on March 5, 1950, and was laid to rest at Forest Lawn-Glendale. His Egyptian and Chinese Theatres are still two of the most famous and most visited landmarks in Hollywood.