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February 2017
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Our private tour family poses in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater

No Private Tour of Hollywood is Complete without this Picture

Even on an overcast, colorless day there is plenty of color in HollywoodGrauman’s Chinese Theater has been a rainbow of dazzling hues since it was opened in 1928.  The grand movie palace that Sid Grauman built (along with the Egyptian Theater just a block down Hollywood Boulevard) remains not only an operating movie theater but one of the best theaters to see a movie anywhere.  Especially a big noisy movie.  That’s why Hollywood movie premieres are still hosted here.  The big crowd of Hollywood insiders will watch the film on the giant IMAX screen with all the technical bells and whistles that makes every seat perfect for sight and sound.  Throngs of spectators will gather in the forecourt along the red carpet paying respects to the great actors whose handprints mark the cement slabs and along the Hollywood Walk of Fame lining both sides of the street outside the theater.  When our private tour of Los Angeles gets to Hollywood we walk around and explore Grauman’s and we always gather the guests for photographs commemorating their visit here.  We will also walk to other nearby historic and popular sights like the El Capitan Theater, the Dolby Theatre and the Roosevelt Hotel.  For some modern fun we will spend time looking around the Hollywood & Highland Center, as much a tribute to old Hollywood as it is an exciting outdoor shopping mall (with some fine restaurants and snackeries).

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We visit Grauman's Chinese Theatre on a private Hollywood tour

Private Tour in Hollywood Can Mean Tour of Grauman’s Chinese Theater

There are not many movie theaters across America that offer tours of their premises.  Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood does…and it should.  One of the most historic movie palaces in the country it is also one of the finest movie theaters.  Film lovers in the region go out of their way to see a movie here in Hollywood.  The studios themselves love to schedule grand Hollywood premieres here as they have throughout film history.  And, of course, there is the courtyard with the hand and footprints of Hollywood’s greatest movie actors and directors.  If we can, and if our private Los Angeles tour guests wish, we love to join the small group tours of the movie theater so we can view the auditorium, one of the biggest there is, and remember back to the days of Sid Grauman and his wishing to design and construct great themed palaces where he could exhibit the latest blockbuster films.  For Hollywood he built the Chinese and the Egyptian.  Our guides (and the theater guides) add the history and stories that go with this great theater.  Our guests just imagine what it is like to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens in IMAX (largest in the world) in this beautiful space.

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Our private tour family at Hollywood's Chinese Theater

Grauman’s Chinese Theater Is a Temple for

Our Private Hollywood Tour

The building is iconic.  Like the Hollywood Sign, like the Walk of Fame, like the Capitol Records building, our private Los Angeles tour guests want to see these landmarks no matter what else we offer to show them in Los Angeles.  Thus a beach tour from Marina del Rey to Malibu or from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach will almost always see us heading at some point into Hollywood.  As cliched as it may be to photograph our families standing in the courtyard of the 1927 structure known for its Hollywood movie premieres and famous courtyard strewn with celebrity signed cement hand and footprints, we pose our groups in several locations around the building and get wonderful “greeting card” shots for their tour albums.  No matter who they share the photograph with those viewers will know exactly where they have been.  At the same time we tell stories about the handprint ceremonies and suggest a 20-minute walking tour inside the historic theater where Hollywood history blends with the latest in digital theater presentation.  The newest IMAX Laser projection system can be seen by the largest IMAX audience in the world (932).  No wonder film industry leaders want to premiere their movies in this veritable temple of the film gods.

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Everyone loves Marilyn Monroe

If You Love Marilyn Monroe Our

Private Tour is for You

We can visit her gravesite, we can visit her homes, we can drop by her favorite restaurants and nightclubs, but our private Los Angeles tour guests who feel connected to Marilyn Monroe are happiest when we spend time at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.  Here we can celebrate Marilyn Monroe at her best.  Her handprints and footprints in the theater forecourt are there as well as a large image from a photograph taken on the day she placed her hands in the wet cement, one of the most memorable photos taken of either her or the handprint ceremony.  Just across Hollywood Boulevard is her Walk of Fame star.  We never have to look far, either, to find a hopeful actress or two channeling Marilyn Monroe and happy to pose with visitors wishing a photograph with a Marilyn lookalike.

Marilyn Monroe wannabees walk the Walk of Fame

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Always being funny, Mel wears an extra finger to his Chinese Theater ceremony

Mel Brooks Honored and

Our Private Tour Was There

Our crack staff pores over press releases and monitors Hollywood websites, always wanting to know what is happening, when and where.  We love to impress our private Los Angeles tour guests by stopping by special ceremonies and events during their custom luxury tour with us.  Who wouldn’t want photographs of Mel Brooks in their tour album at the end of the day?  This was Mel’s day, for sure.  Finally, on the 40th anniversary of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, Mel got to play in the wet cement and become a part of immortal Hollywood for all visitors to come who will visit the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theater forecourt.  And how important was it to Mr. Brooks?  He grew an extra finger for the occasion.  Jimmy Durante‘s nose, John Barrymore‘s facial profile, John Wayne‘s fist and now Mel Brook’s six-fingered hand will be there for everyone to think about and be thankful that he came along and entertained us for so long with so many great movies.

Mel Brooks' brand new handprints at Grauman's Chinese Theater

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Filming the family at Grauman's

Avoiding the Crowd for a Private Tour Photo

Summer is here and so are the crowds of visitors to Los Angeles.  Everyone wants to see the historic Hollywood sights and the sea of people ebbs and flows through the area all day long and into the night.  Our private Los Angeles tour guides have all learned how to get great photos of our guests at even the most populated destinations.  We can make it seem like the location was closed to all but our luxury tour guests.  Here we are just part of the milling crowd at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, now known as TCL Chinese Theatres.  The historic movie palace built by Sid Grauman (with Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) back in 1928 has been updated recently to accommodate the IMAX projection system.  The really big screen in the old movie house is even bigger.  What was always the best theater to see a movie is now even better.  What would Sid, Doug and Mary say if they could experience a movie like Godzilla or Transformers: Age of Extinction at their beloved movie house?  We are sure they would be very impressed if not scared sh*tless.

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Jerry Lewis enjoys the cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater

Cinderfella Yucks It Up in the Muck While Our Los Angeles Tour Guests Chuckle

A few days ago Jerry Lewis, 87 years young, was invited to add his hand and foot prints to the pantheon of great movie stars memorialized in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.  While the TCM (Turner Classic Movies) Film Festival was being held across the street at the Roosevelt Hotel this classic star of such great films as The Patsy and Who’s Minding the Store was reveling in the gooey cement set out for him in front of the crowd of Jerry Lewis film lovers.  Still happy to be goofy he entertained the throng of well wishers, including our private Los Angeles tour guests that day, with silly asides and his usual repertoire of funny faces.  What a mensch.  What a thrill for all of us to be able to share this moment with him.

Jerry Lewis adds brand new prints to Grauman's Chinese Theater

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Marilyn Monroe's hand and footprints at Grauman's Chinese

Our Hollywood Tour Guest Offered to Clean the Dirtiest Prints at Grauman’s

Hers is the easiest cement square to find among all the famous hand and footprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  Just look for the discolored handprints where every woman, truly EVERY woman, places her hands on our private Los Angeles tour.  This is where Marilyn Monroe knelt back in 1953 in what is an iconic image of her placing her hands in the wet cementMarilyn Monroe and Jane Russell honored at Grauman's Chinese Theater in front of Sid Grauman’s historic movie palace with her Gentlemen Prefer Blondes co-star, Jane Russell.  Perhaps as famous as the photograph of her standing atop the subway grate in the movie Seven Year Itch, a figure made large in the giant J. Seward Johnson sculpture now in Palm SpringsMarilyn Monroe in Seven Year ItchEvery little bit of history we show our private tour guests in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills resonates throughout the region, the country and the world.

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Stan Winston School amuses visitors at Grauman's

Great Ape Gets Our Los Angeles Tour Guests Thinking

Making creatures for the movies, now there’s a banana to reach for if we can judge from our private Hollywood tour guests (especially the youngsters) this day at the Chinese Theater.  Here Stan Winston School students display one of their creature projects for visitors to ogle.  That they have a sense of humor just makes it more fun.  After all, there are numerous odd characters in this part of Hollywood including super heroes and villians, cartoon characters and just plain odd folks so how disturbing can a gorilla in their midst really be?  By the way, Stan Winston, winner of four Academy Awards, did do a gorilla movie.  Can you name it?

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Photograph of Grauman's Chinese Theater

Never Let Go of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood

This will always be Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  Even when it was Mann’s Chinese Theatre it was Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  And now that it’s TCL Chinese Theatre it’s still Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  We are professional tour guides who want our private Hollywood Tour guests to see this fun destination as the movie history haven it has always been.  And who better to remind us of that history than Elvis himself, reincarnated in his larger Las Vegas form but still wowing the women who pass by.

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