Sidney Patrick Grauman (March 17, 1879 - March 5, 1950) was an American showman who created one of Southern California's most recognizable and visited landmarks, Grauman's Chinese Theater.
A failed prospector in the Klondike gold rush, he had owned movie theaters in Alaska and Northern California before building three noteworthy Los Angeles movie palaces: the Million Dollar Theater, the Egyptian Theater, and finally the Chinese, noted for its extravagant exterior design and its forecourt containing celebrity hand- and footprints. Grauman's Chinese Theater is now one of the ten most-visited places in Southern California. He died in Los Angeles on March 5, 1950.
Grauman received an honorary Academy Award in 1949 for raising the standard for film exhibition. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6379 Hollywood Blvd. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
He was one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
Graumans Chinese Theatre in Hollywood is the most famous movie theatre in the world. Millions of visitors flock here each year, most of them drawn by its legendary forecourt with its footprints of the stars. Yet the Chinese Theatre is also a fine place to see a movie in its own right, a spectacular movie palace with a unique history.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened over 70 years ago, with the 1927 debut of the original silent version of "King of Kings," produced by Cecil B. DeMille. Since then, the Chinese Theatre has been the site of more gala Hollywood movie premieres than any other theatre. (In 1939, for instance, over 10,000 spectators showed up for the world premiere of "The Wizard of Oz.)
Grauman's Egyptian Theater was the first big movie palace to be built in Hollywood and the site of the first Hollywood movie premiere. It was built in 1922, fell into disrepair, but is now operated by and is being restored by American Cinematheque, a local organization dedicated to preserving and screening films.