Opening night program for Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Wednesday, May 18, 1927. 8 x 10.635 inches.
50th Anniversary program Mann's Chinese Theatre, Tuesday, May 24, 1977. 8 x 9 inches.
 
Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Wikipedia
Grauman's Chinese Theatre on the Internet Movie Database
 
Chinese Theatre 50th Anniversary
Footprinting Ceremony held on Wednesday, May 18, 1977
 
Theatre opened Wednesday, May 18, 1927
 
By the time the Chinese Theatre got to its fiftieth anniversary, the theatre's owner, Ted Mann, arranged a little party to mark the occassion.

Mann had been operating the theatre as the flagship of his Mann Theatres chain since July of 1973. Tremendously fond of the theatre, its 50th anniversary would have to be special.

First thing he did was to have the Los Angeles City Council pass a resolution recognizing the occasion. This resolution was reproduced as a brass plaque, which was placed in the upper right-hand corner of one of the cement blocks in the Forecourt.

Then came the mayors. He asked his buddy, Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, to come to the theatre on the actual anniversary date, and they would both sign the block with the resolution. They would be assisted by Hollywood's "honorary mayor" — Monty Hall, host of the popular television game show Let's Make a Deal.

Allowing for the cement to dry a bit, a special day was arranged for Tuesday, May 24, 1977.

At 1:15 PM that afternoon, everyone got together again with the consul general of the Republic of China and other dignitaries, to seal a time capsule of momentoes from the Chinese theatre. The film shipping container was placed into a hole dug in the lower left-hand corner of the block. It is to be opened at the 100th anniversary of the theatre, in May, 2027.

At 7:30 PM, there was a rededication ceremony performed over Cecil B. DeMille's block, attended by DeMille family members, Cecilia, Katherine, and Agnes DeMille.

This was followed by an 8:00 PM screening of DeMille's King of Kings, which was the first film to play the Chinese when it opened in 1927. Ticket proceeds went to benefit the Hollywood Free Theatre. It was a gala night for everyone, but, as we know, Star Wars opened the next day!
 
Caption TK
Ted Mann, date unknown.
 
Ted Mann on Wikipedia
Ted Mann on the Internet Movie Database
 
Ted Mann
 
Born: April 16, 1916, in Wishek, North Dakota
Age at the time of the ceremony: 61
Died: January 15, 2001, in Los Angeles, California, age 84

 
Ted Mann was a long-time movie theatre owner and occassional producer. He ran the Chinese from 1973 until his retirement in 1991.

As a youngster, Mann worked as an usher in his local movie house. When he attended the University of Minnesota, he rented the Selby Theatre in St. Paul, and, working as all of the staff, made a success of it. Before long, he was operating 25 theatres.

Wanting to make films, and not simply show them, Mann sold his theatres to General Cinema Corporation and relocated to the Los Angeles area. Teaming up with Warner Bros., his first film as producer was The Illustrated Man (released in March, 1969) with Rod Steiger. It failed at the box-office.

At this point, Mann bought the chain of National General Theatres, heir to Fox West Coast Theatre chain, and became the owner of the Chinese in the process. While closing the older, single-screen theatres and erecting multiplexes to replace them, Mann was well positioned to benefit from the bonanza brought by all the films trying to catch Star Wars. Oh, and he married actress Rhonda Fleming in 1977 as well.

Mann produced several films during this time: Buster and Billie (released in August, 1974), with Jan-Michael Vincent, Lifeguard (released in July, 1976) with Sam Elliott, The Nude Bomb (which played the Chinese in May, 1980), with Don Adams, Brubaker (released in June, 1980) with Robert Redford, and Krull (released in July, 1983).

In 1986, Mann sold his theatre chain to Paramount, for $220 Million. He remained on as chairman of the board, while overseeing an expansion program which would lead to 535 screens in 117 locations. He would retire from business in 1991. He died of a stroke in 2001 at the age of 84.
   
Tom Bradley, unknown date.
 
Tom Bradley on Wikipedia
Mayor Tom Bradley on the Internet Movie Database
 
Mayor Tom Bradley
 
Born: December 29, 1917, in Calvert, Texas
Age at the time of the ceremony: 60
Died: September 29, 1998, in Los Angeles, California, age 80

 
Mayor Tom Bradley was the mayor of the City of Los Angeles from July, 1973, to July of 1993. For 20 years, Bradley managed, through grace and good will, to hold together the huge, complicated polygot city, earning the respect of just about everyone.

The grandson of slaves, Bradley was born in a shack occupied by his sharecropping parents. Moving in 1924 to Los Angeles, his father worked as a train porter, while his mother became a maid to keep Tom and his three siblings in school. After attending Rosemont Elementary and Lafayette Junior High and Polytechnic High School, he became the first black man to be elected the president of the Boys League and to the Ephebians honor society.

Attending UCLA on an athletic scholarship, Bradley earned his spending money working as a photographer for comedian Jimmy Durante. He left UCLA and joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1940, when the LAPD had one black officer for every 100 officers. Upon graduating police academy, Bradley served in the highly segregated department, mostly working traffic downtown with a black partner. He did work with a white officer until 1964.

Marrying Ethel Arnold in 1941, the Bradley's used a white "front" couple in order to buy a house in Leimert Park. While working for LAPD, Bradley attended Southwestern University Law School, and would practice law after retiring from the police force. Working within the United Club, a Democratic activist group, Bradley connected with many whites and Latinos, who would become his political supporters in the coming years. He was elected to represent the 10th District in 1963, becoming the city's first black city council member.

As a council member, Bradley avoided conflict and protest, preferring to bringing groups together at the negotiating table. In 1969, Bradley campaigned to unseat incubent mayer Sam Yorty, who smeared Bradley as a black radical. He lost narrowly. Running agaisnt Yorty in 1973 brought him victory.

As mayor, Bradley championed reform of the LAPD, engineering the ouster of police cheif Ed Davis, oversaw development in downtown, signed a gay rights bill, he was progressive about the AIDS crisis, obversaw the 1984 Olympics and the visit of Pope John Paul in 1987. Bradley begun development of light rail in the city, and pushed for the expansion of LAX. He also presided during the Rodney King Riots and their aftermath, establishing the Christopher Commission to reform the LAPD from top to bottom. With his political strength waning, he left office in 1992, returning to the law, specializing in international trade issues.

Bradley ran for Governor of California in 1982 and in 1986. He was the first African-American to do so. He suffered a heart attack in March, 1996, underwent triple bypass surgery, and suffered another stroke. He died in September, 1998 at the age of 80.
 
 
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Chinese Theatre 50th Anniversary ceremony, Wednesday, May 18, 1977. From left to right: honorary mayor of Hollywood Monty Hall, Mann Theatres director of operations William F. Hertz, Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley and Mann Theatre Corporation president Ted Mann.
 
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Chinese Theatre 50th Anniversary Time Capsule ceremony, Tuesday, May 24, 1977. Mann Theatre Coproration president Ted Mann is lowering a film shipping case containing artifacts from Chinese Theatre history, to be re-opened in 2027. Behind him is Los Angeles City councilwoman Peggy Stevenson, and behind her is Mann Theatres director of operations William F. Hertz.
 
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