Hollywood landmark reels in China brand

Updated: 2013-03-11 13:13

By Liu Wei (China Daily)

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Negotiations on the deal started around April, with TCL competing against several companies from the banking, insurance and airline industries, according to Annie Li, president of Reach Glory, the entertainment-marketing agency that represented TCL in the negotiations.

She said a major factor in the success of TCL's winning bid was the fact that is was a Chinese enterprise.

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"China is the future as the second-largest film market in the world," she said. "Besides, the most important products of TCL, TV and mobile phones, are closely related to the theater and the film content it screens."

During negotiations, TCL rose to be the world's fourth-largest flat panel TV manufacturer from seventh, which Li thinks helps, too.

TCL will help revamp the 86-year-old theater, upgrading its sound system and projector, among other improvements.

"The milestone relationship between TCL and the Chinese Theater will allow us to do many of the upgrades and the preservation projects we earmarked," Ellie Samaha and Don Kushner, the theater's owners, said in a statement.

The deal also won the endorsement of Hillsman Wright, co-founder of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, restoring and sustaining the operation of Southern California's historic theaters. At the launch ceremony of the new name in January, Wright made a speech to "support the new partnership and the improvements that will be outlined".

The theater will also become a venue for China-US cultural exchanges.

As part of the deal, TCL will promote Tinseltown and the theater. According to Ben Ji, marketing director of Reach Glory, the first step would be a presentation to Chinese filmmakers and businessmen at the Shanghai International Film Festival in June on how they may cooperate with the theater.

Liang did not reveal how much TCL has paid for the naming rights, simply calling the deal "reasonably priced". The Los Angeles Times reported that the company spent more than $5 million for the deal.


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