Theatre Mogul, Entrepreneur. Born Sidney Patrick Grauman in Indiana, he accompanied his father to the Klondike River near Dawson City, Yukon, Canada in 1898 in search of gold. Once there, Sid, still a teenager, began to show a skill for making money quickly by entertaining miners for pieces of gold. When his father left the Klondike in the winter of 1899, young Sid stayed on. Almost anything that could be passed off as entertainment in the Klondike made money. Sid Grauman and Tex Rickard staged boxing matches in the famed Monte Carlo Saloon where miners gambled their gold away during games of dice and cards. The boxing matches turned a profit for everyone involved. Grauman left the Yukon in 1900 to join his family in California. Those two years worth of seasoning in the Klondike would give him notoriety and become very wealthy. The first time young Sid Grauman saw a movie was at the Cinemagraph theatre in San Francisco. Sid soon realized how profitable the movie business was becoming and decided to try his luck with it. Sid and his father bought "The Unique," a vaudeville and movie theatre on Market Street. The motion picture business was brand new, but Sid learned in the Yukon that people will pay for new forms of entertainment. A few years later, Sid and his father bought another theatre that they called "The Lyceum." However, in 1906, disaster struck. Both "The Unique" and "The Lyceum" were destroyed in the great San Francisco earthquake. Undaunted, he bought more buildings and created more theatres. By 1915, he had several theaters in Northern California and one in New York. In 1917, he moved to Los Angeles and built a showplace called the "Million Dollar Theatre" located on South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. Built at the then astounding cost of one million dollars, the elaborate Gothic baroque theatre contained 2,345 seats and soon was the site of many motion picture premieres. Sid moved out of Los Angeles to nearby Hollywood. His next theatre, "The Egyptian" located on Hollywood Boulevard, opened on Oct. 18, 1922, with the premiere of "Robin Hood" starring Douglas Fairbanks. Next, he built the most lavish motion picture palace with partners Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Howard Schenk. Authorization had to be obtained from the United States government to import temple bells, pagodas, stone Heaven Dogs and other artifacts from China. Poet and film director Moon Quon came from China, and under his supervision Chinese artisans created many pieces of statuary in the work area that eventually became the "Forecourt of the Stars." The theatre was named, "Grauman's Chinese Theatre." As final touches were being placed on the theatre, Sid Grauman accidentally stepped into wet concrete during a visit to the construction of the theatre. It gave him an idea. The theatre opened on May 18, 1927, with the premiere of Cecil B. De Mille's, "King of King's." At the next movie premiere on April 30, 1927, Mr. Grauman began a new tradition. Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were the first motion picture stars to record their signatures and footprints in cement in the forecourt of "Grauman's Chinese Theatre." Currently, the landmark is adorned with over two hundred footprints and hand prints of movie legends. Two years before he passed, Sid received an honorary Academy Award in 1948, to a "Master showman, who raised the standard of exhibition of motion pictures." In recognition of his contributions to the motion picture industry, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6379 Hollywood Blvd. Sid Grauman was one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
Bio by: katzizkidz