Sidney Grauman (1879 – 1950) was an entrepreneur, showman, and the visionary behind the Million Dollar Theater. He also built one of the most recognizable Hollywood landmarks – the Chinese theater. Born into a family of theater performers, Grauman was accustomed to a life in show business. The Grauman family moved from Indiana to San Francisco and established themselves as vaudeville impresarios, operating numerous theaters.
By 1917, Grauman had moved to Los Angeles and had begun work on the Million Dollar, the first of his movie palaces in Los Angeles. At the time, it was one of the largest movie theaters in the country, boasting 2,345 seats. He went on to build the Metropolitan theater, also in Downtown LA, and the landmark Chinese and Egyptian theaters in Hollywood.
He passed away in 1950 but is still remembered as one of the most significant people in Hollywood’s history, receiving both an Honorary Academy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.