Film Buffs Will Love This Iconic Los Angeles Tourist Attraction

Any film buff would be wise to pilgrimage to Los Angeles, the world's undisputed entertainment capital, to deepen their connection to the birthplace of cinema. Home to industry giants like Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros., the Californian city is where most filmmaking magic happens. While first-time visitors gravitate toward the Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame when they visit, a particular attraction steeped in cinematic history is often left out of the itinerary — the TCL Chinese Theatre, known initially as the Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

Located conveniently along Hollywood Boulevard, it's practically Disneyland for those seeking to immerse themselves in Hollywood's enduring legacy. It was erected in 1927 by famous showman Sid Grauman, whose vision was to build the theatre of all theatres. And by all accounts, he achieved that goal, with fans coming in droves right from the opening night when it hosted the premiere of "The King of Kings." Not only did they flock to the theatre to witness their favorite stars, but also to marvel at its iconic design inspired by an authentic Chinese pagoda. Two 90-foot columns mark the entrance, and in the middle is a 30-foot dragon made of stone. From the outside looking in, the theatre may appear just like any other opulent theatre, but embedded within its storied walls are cinema's past, present, and future.

Watch, observe, and be inspired

Just because the TCL Chinese Theatre is essentially just a theatre doesn't mean that you are limited to only movie-watching when you pay a visit. Upon arriving, you're immediately greeted by the Forecourt of the Stars, touted as the "most famous hunks of cement in the world." Imprinted in them are the handprints, footprints, and autographs of the crème de la crème of the entertainment industry, from Marilyn Monroe to Steven Spielberg and even the "Star Wars" franchise's R2-D2. "You really have to be among the best in your field to get invited to be placed out there," Levi Tinker, the theatre's operations manager, told Variety.

If you want to go beyond the outside pavement, the theatre offers 30-minute guided tours to educate fans on its rich history. A dedicated tour guide will fill you in on exclusive tidbits about how the architectural marvel was built and the many premieres it has hosted, and let you catch a glimpse of some artifacts that hold historical significance in entertainment. Those interested are encouraged to call or email the theatre for availability.

Of course, you can always choose to watch a film here, if you wish. The theatre houses a 70-millimeter IMAX screen and one of the most expansive IMAX auditoriums in the world, offering a movie-watching experience unlike any other. MX4D Motion EFX theatres are also available onsite, so not only can you watch movies, but you can "feel" them, too.

Nearby attractions for film lovers

The best thing about Hollywood Boulevard is that it's a mecca for film aficionados. After basking in cinematic history at the TCL Chinese Theatre, you can make your way to other exciting attractions located in the area. If you can't get enough of iconic theatres, the Dolby Theatre and El Capitan Theatre are just a few steps away. The former hosts guided tours where you can see an actual Oscar, while the latter screens a wide variety of Disney classics.

Peppered along the boulevard are various museums that cater to different interests. Want to get a chance to "meet" famous celebrities? Look no further than Madame Tussauds, home to hundreds of celebrity wax figures. For those drawn to the bizarre, head to Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, in which you can interact with iconic and out-of-this-world displays and artifacts, including the Marilyn Monroe dress Kim Kardashian wore to the Met Gala. Other intriguing stops you can try include the Guinness World Records Museum, Medieval Torture Museum, and the World of Illusions.

You can conclude your day by relaxing, shopping, and playing at Ovation Hollywood. Apart from its famous stores and restaurants, the 475,000-square-foot complex is teeming with exciting activities, like bowling at Lucky Strike Live, transporting to a virtual dimension at Anvio VR, and admiring Japanese art at The Gallery.