Famed Hollywood movie house renamed TCL Chinese Theatre

Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:26pm EST

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(Reuters) - Hollywood's landmark Grauman's Chinese Theatre has a new name after a Chinese company purchased naming rights to the famous movie house and tourist destination.

The one-time site of the Academy awards will now be called the TCL Chinese Theatre following a 10-year deal with Chinese TV maker TCL Corp, its owners said on Friday.

Opened in 1927, the building had been named for Sid Grauman, a Hollywood showman who helped finance the theater's construction. The theater hosted red-carpet premieres for "The Wizard of Oz" and other classic films and now is the site of about 40 movie premieres annually.

The landmark draws about 4 million viewers each year. It is fronted by an ornate Chinese pagoda and the hand and footprints of famous film stars captured in cement.

The deal with TCL will fund upgrades and preservation of the historic site, theater owners Elie Samaha and Donald Kushner said in a statement.

(Reporting By Lisa Richwine)

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