Grauman’s Chinese Theatre’s Famous Handprints
It’s time for a little more info about Grauman’s Chinese Theatre! In A Little More Info is Sporcle’s column where we take trivia questions asked nationwide at Sporcle Events Pub Quiz and Stump pub trivia events and break them down a little further.
On October 24, 2022, we asked: In addition to her handprints and footprints, what celebrity left imprints of her dreadlocks in cement in front of the movie palace popularly known as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in 1995? The answer was Whoopi Goldberg. Here’s A Little More Info on Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
A Tradition Set in Stone (or Cement)
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (branded as TCL Chinese Theatre) is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hollywood. Since its opening in 1927, the theater has been the site of some of the most prestigious film premieres in history. It has also been home to the handprints of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. The theater’s forecourt is lined with cement blocks, each imprinted with the handprints, footprints, or signatures of a famous actor or actress. Some of the most well-known handprints belong to Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Humphrey Bogart. However, the handprints are not just reserved for Hollywood royalty—they also represent the hard work and dedication of the many crew members who make films possible. In addition to actors and actresses, Grauman’s Chinese Theater also features the handprints of directors, producers, and other behind-the-scenes personnel. As a result, the theater is a true representation of the collaborative nature of filmmaking.
Whoopi Goldberg’s Dreadlock Prints are at the Theater
One celebrity who left her mark on the theater in a very literal way is Whoopi Goldberg. In 1990, Goldberg attended the premiere of Dick Tracy at Grauman’s wearing her signature dreadlocks. As she leaned forward to pose for pictures, her dreadlocks accidentally became imprinted in the wet concrete. Today, Goldberg’s dreadlocks are preserved for posterity, and they serve as a reminder of her unique style and personality.
Mickey and Minnie are on Full Display at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
In 1928, Walt Disney created a character who would quickly become an international icon: Mickey Mouse. Just four years later, Mickey made his big-screen debut in the short film “Steamboat Willie.” To celebrate the release of Disney’s first feature-length animated film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Mickey and his costar, Minnie Mouse, placed their hands and feet into blocks of cement outside Hollywood’s famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Today, their prints are still on display, making Mickey the first cartoon character to be honored in this way. Every year, thousands of people visit Grauman’s to see Mickey’s prints and pay tribute to the mouse who started it all.
A Car Ran Through the Cement
On March 28, 1969, Hollywood history was made when a Volkswagen Beetle car driven by Don Knotts and Dean Jones helped to roll its tires across the wet cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The Volkswagen Beetle had become a cultural phenomenon in the US thanks to the release of the film “The Love Bug” earlier that year. The movie told the story of a racecar driver who discovers a sentient car with a mind of its own, and it was a massive hit with audiences of all ages. So when Knotts and Jones showed up at Grauman’s Chinese Theater to promote the film, they decided to leave their mark on Hollywood Boulevard by driving the Volkswagen Beetle across the freshly-laid cement. Today, their tire tracks are still visible at the theater, serving as a reminder of the power of moviemaking magic.
Kobe Bryant Became the First Athlete Enshrined at Grauman’s
Kobe Bryant became the first athlete to have his or her hand and footprints immortalized when he attended the ceremony on February 12, 2011. In addition to his achievements on the basketball court, Bryant has also won an Oscar for his animated short film Dear Basketball. He is only the third athlete to receive an Academy Award, following in the footsteps of James Earl Jones and Denzel Washington. With his induction into the Grauman’s pantheon, Kobe Bryant has truly cemented his place in Hollywood history.
Can you name the celebrities with Grauman’s Chinese Theatre footprints? There’s over 200 of them. The average score is 22%!
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