Source AP ©

Landlord buys Grauman's Chinese Theatre

A landlord bought Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the 80-year-old landmark that attracts millions of tourists every year.

CIM Group of Los Angeles bought the property for an undisclosed price from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Center of New York and Barlow Respiratory Hospital of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported in Monday editions. Mann Theatres has a long-term lease and will continue to operate Grauman's as a film house.

An e-mail message left Monday for CIM Group was not immediately returned.

The purchase adds to the developer's Hollywood holdings, which includes the Hollywood & Highland Center, Renaissance Hollywood Hotel and the Galaxy building, the Times reported.

"We have been very interested in purchasing the property since we acquired Hollywood & Highland" in 2004, said John Given, a principal at CIM, told the Times. "Our ownership cements the relationship between the theater and Hollywood & Highland Center."

The 1,612-seat theater, built in 1927 by Sid Grauman, has become one of Southern California's biggest tourist attractions. Its outdoor courtyard features generations of movie stars who have left their hand and footprints in concrete. The venue also hosts dozens of film premieres every year.

Its signature pagoda-inspired entrance has two coral red columns topped by wrought iron masks that hold aloft the bronze roof. Between the columns is a 30-foot (9.14-meter) dragon carved from stone and guarding the theater entrance are two giant stone Heaven Dogs, original artifacts brought from China by Grauman.

CIM was started by Israeli immigrants Kuba and Avi Shemesh with Richard Ressler and the firm specializes in developing and investing in urban centers. It is largely financed by pools of money raised by institutional investors including the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

The group has residential and retail projects in Anaheim, Sacramento and San Jose and helped develop the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

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