Date: 18th January 2001
TED MANN, the owner of HOLLYWOOD'S CHINESE THEATRE, has died (15JA01) aged 84 from a stroke.
Mann built the largest independent cinema chain in the United States and changed the name, amid protests, of Hollywood's famed GRAUMAN'S CHINESE THEATRE to MANN'S CHINESE THEATRE. Known as a shrewd entrepreneur, Mann rubbed elbows with movie stars, produced unique low-budget films, tried his hand at acting, and married actress RHONDA FLEMING.
He was most famous, however, for renaming Hollywood's most famous venue, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, founded by impresario SID GRAUMAN in 1927, with his own last name. The name change occurred when he bought the venue in 1973 as part of a $67.5million (£44.5m) purchase of the troubled National General Theatre chain. Renaming the venerated Grauman's, where starstruck fans congregated to gape at stars' hand-and-footprints pressed into its cement courtyard, drew a series of protests. (PDD/WNWR)