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Old 11-14-2012, 12:25 PM   #46
Max Rebo
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Count me as a skeptic of the OP.

But ...

If the hat comes down (please!), I could see DHS doing some sort of Star Wars overlay to Grauman's Chinese Theater. Many folks may not realize that it was at this very theater (the actual one, in LA) that "Star Wars" premiered, back in 1977. Even if just for a short-term promotional period, it might be fun to deck out the theater as if it was that one night, some 35 years ago. Sunset and Hollywood boulevards have always been designed to emulate the "golden age" of Hollywood. The 1970s aren't part of that age, but there's no saying that parts of the park couldn't be themed to reflect other times in cinematic history.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:58 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Rebo
Count me as a skeptic of the OP.

But ...

If the hat comes down (please!), I could see DHS doing some sort of Star Wars overlay to Grauman's Chinese Theater. Many folks may not realize that it was at this very theater (the actual one, in LA) that "Star Wars" premiered, back in 1977. Even if just for a short-term promotional period, it might be fun to deck out the theater as if it was that one night, some 35 years ago. Sunset and Hollywood boulevards have always been designed to emulate the "golden age" of Hollywood. The 1970s aren't part of that age, but there's no saying that parts of the park couldn't be themed to reflect other times in cinematic history .
THAT sounds like a marvelous plan!
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:31 PM   #48
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Im not sure how much truth their is to this rumor however I heard it from many sources

The hat will never go away..perhaps it gets replaced but the Chinese Theater will be out of sight forever. Disney even goes as far as having the photo pass photographers make sure it does not come out in any picture they take. Reason Disney lost the rights to use the likeness of the theater...They decided not to tear it down however they cover it up. When was the last time they used the theater any of the marketing... Pins? Shirts? Vinylmation? Picture Frames? Nope you dont see it do you?
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:36 PM   #49
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Im not sure how much truth their is to this rumor however I heard it from many sources

The hat will never go away..perhaps it gets replaced but the Chinese Theater will be out of sight forever. Disney even goes as far as having the photo pass photographers make sure it does not come out in any picture they take. Reason Disney lost the rights to use the likeness of the theater...They decided not to tear it down however they cover it up. When was the last time they used the theater any of the marketing... Pins? Shirts? Vinylmation? Picture Frames? Nope you dont see it do you?
I've seen this many times and it is false. The facade of the Chinese theater is public domain. It has no rights.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:12 AM   #50
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I've seen this many times and it is false. The facade of the Chinese theater is public domain. It has no rights.
Perhaps. But lawyers have a way of turning nothing into something.

The design of DHS' building clearly mirrors the original theater in Hollywood--right down to the footprints in cement. Perhaps Disney once paid some form of royalties to the owners of the theater for design assistance or other considerations, and later looked to discontinue those payments.

It's interesting to note that old park maps specifically list "Chinese Theater" and "The Great Movie Ride" separately. Now only GMR is indicated.

Generally speaking, most public buildings can be photographed freely without risk of copyright violation. However, the Picture Archive Council of America (a photography industry trade group) lists the Chinese Theater as a building which may cause problems due to trademark or other restrictions.

If the hat weren't there, live and taped broadcasts would have the theater right behind the stage. Park guests and Photopass photogs would be snapping millions of pics each year with the theater prominently featured. I can only imagine how much Disney earns from the Photopass pics alone, and their potential exposure if the Chinese Theater owners successfully lobbied for a share of those dollars going back 20+ years.

Whether the hat is the result of some Theater contract which was allowed to lapse or a "what if" fear on the part of Disney's legal team, I suspect it was the path of least resistance.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:38 AM   #51
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From what I remember, disney placed the hat knowing that the studios wouldn't be called "MGM Studios" much longer. When it was MGM, Disney often uses the theatre on their MGM studios merchandise. Also, each of the 4 parks has an "icon" item at the center of its parks. Spaceship Earth, Tree of Life and The Cinderella Castle, then they had the Earful Tower for MGM, which is at the back of the property. You can't see it when walking into the park.

So Disney killed two birds with one stone, the hat covered the main symbol of MGM Studios and now has an "icon" that matches the other parks.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:53 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by tjkraz View Post
Perhaps. But lawyers have a way of turning nothing into something.

The design of DHS' building clearly mirrors the original theater in Hollywood--right down to the footprints in cement. Perhaps Disney once paid some form of royalties to the owners of the theater for design assistance or other considerations, and later looked to discontinue those payments.

It's interesting to note that old park maps specifically list "Chinese Theater" and "The Great Movie Ride" separately. Now only GMR is indicated.

Generally speaking, most public buildings can be photographed freely without risk of copyright violation. However, the Picture Archive Council of America (a photography industry trade group) lists the Chinese Theater as a building which may cause problems due to trademark or other restrictions.

If the hat weren't there, live and taped broadcasts would have the theater right behind the stage. Park guests and Photopass photogs would be snapping millions of pics each year with the theater prominently featured. I can only imagine how much Disney earns from the Photopass pics alone, and their potential exposure if the Chinese Theater owners successfully lobbied for a share of those dollars going back 20+ years.

Whether the hat is the result of some Theater contract which was allowed to lapse or a "what if" fear on the part of Disney's legal team, I suspect it was the path of least resistance.
You may be right but there's one problem that makes me think this is incorrect.

They aren't taking photos of Graumann's Chinese Theater. They are taking pictures of a replica. On top of that, why would Disney be allowed to produce a replica of the theater but not be allowed to photograph it?
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:20 AM   #53
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The Whole "Can't take pictures of the theatre" is complete BS. The truth is, having a prominent marketing icon for the park (the earful tower was deem too far out of the way, especially as the backlot and studio space was removed) was more important than continuity. The "best" location for the icon was decided to be as the first thing you see when you walk in. That just happened to cover up the hat.

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There are different versions of the story, but it goes something like this... After the Mann’s Theatres chain, which included the Chinese Theatre, was sold in 2000 to a partnership of Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures, Disney could no longer use the theater façade as a symbol for Disney-MGM Studios. They had to block the direct view. In one version of the story, Disney lost the rights to use the Chinese Theatre façade, but somehow didn’t have to remove it if they put something in front of it. In another version, Disney had to pay a royalty to the owners of the Chinese Theatre every time it was photographed, so Disney did something to limit the ability of guests to take photos.

It’s an Internet legend—a story that’s repeated over and over, until a lot of people assume it to be true because they’ve seen the explanation so many times.

The Internet legend doesn’t make much sense when you think about it. Guests can still see and photograph the Disney version of the Chinese Theatre—just not from as many angles as previously. To believe the legend, you would have to accept that Disney is stuck with a contract that allowed them to build a replica of the façade of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in 1989, but, if the theater were sold, would only allow guests to see it if they were looking from an angle or standing very close in front of it.

There was simpler explanation. Just as Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park broke out in pink birthday cake decorations for Walt Disney World’s 25th anniversary celebration and Spaceship Earth at Epcot grew a Sorcerer Mickey hand and magic wand for the Millennium Celebration, so Disney-MGM Studios would wear an oversized Sorcerer Mickey hat for the “100 Years of Magic” marketing campaign. This “celebration” officially commemorated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Walt Disney on December 5, 1901, although that wasn’t always clear to the casual guest.

That still raises the question why any Imagineer would do something that would so grossly weaken the authenticity and “story” of this idealized Hollywood neighborhood. The answer is that Imagineers ultimately are not the people who make such decisions. Think of the hat as a Disney executive’s “brilliant” idea to infuse Disney-MGM Studios with more “Disney Magic.”
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:41 AM   #54
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So my question is why is it no longer "pictured" anywhere? Not even in Pins or Vinlymation. The Theater has been removed from any type of advertising. If they still had the rights why not occasionally use it.

Last edited by Mac4life30; 11-15-2012 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:32 PM   #55
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So my question is why is it no longer "pictured" anywhere? Not even in Pins or Vinlymation. The Theater has been removed from any type of advertising. If they still had the rights why not occasionally use it.
Have you tried taking a decent picture of it recently? The BUH blocks all but weird side angles and ridiculous wide-angle shots with a lot of distortion.

I think the real truth lies somewhere in between .. specifically they don't wanna use it as a marketing tool with the idea that eventually they might remove it or change the facade to something else entirely....

But.. costs, budgets and economic downturns have meant that the whole thing languishes.

For another example of this :

See Downtown Disney and the sad remains of Pleasure Island and the still mostly empty buildings they cleared out for "exciting new entertainment, dining and shopping experiences for our guests" ... which have yet to hold ANY of those things.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:54 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Mac4life30 View Post
So my question is why is it no longer "pictured" anywhere? Not even in Pins or Vinlymation. The Theater has been removed from any type of advertising. If they still had the rights why not occasionally use it.
I can't say there might be a reason that they don't use it in marketing as far as using the image of the theatre, but to say the hat was put there to "hide" the building for legal reasons is just silly.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:01 PM   #57
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Is possibly not legal but there is something behind the reason.

Here is something I found.

The long-rumored reasoning for the Sorcerer's Hat being added (and staying as long as it has) is Disney had to block the Great Movie Ride's Chinese Theater facade from being perceived as the park icon as well as appearing in promotional material for the park. It's been speculated that Disney, for some reason, was restricted by the owners of the real life Chinese Theater building in Hollywood from using the building's likeness in promotional material so Disney had to block the view of the building from any and all promotional materials. If you pay attention to photos, video and art work that comes out of Disney these days, the Great Movie Ride facade is rarely shown.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:11 PM   #58
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... Also, each of the 4 parks has an "icon" item at the center of its parks. Spaceship Earth, Tree of Life and The Cinderella Castle, then they had the Earful Tower for MGM, which is at the back of the property. You can't see it when walking into the park.

So Disney killed two birds with one stone, the hat covered the main symbol of MGM Studios and now has an "icon" that matches the other parks.
I think you are correct. However, it's worth noting that in the Mobile Magic app I have on my iPhone, the icon for DHS is the Earful Tower, not the hat.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:20 PM   #59
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The Whole "Can't take pictures of the theatre" is complete BS. The truth is, having a prominent marketing icon for the park (the earful tower was deem too far out of the way, especially as the backlot and studio space was removed) was more important than continuity. The "best" location for the icon was decided to be as the first thing you see when you walk in. That just happened to cover up the hat.

If you don't believe me, believe Yesterland!
With all due respect to Werner and Yesterland, what you quoted is really just his own bit of deductive reasoning without any first-hand knowledge.

Assuming there was once some agreement to replicate and/or use the theater, Disney may have been looking to leverage specific terms of that agreement. For instance, the contract may state that Chinese Theater owners are compensated based upon the theater's positioning as "primary focal point upon entering the park."

Or compensation may be tied to guest photos taken and/or sold by Disney. Perhaps the contract gives rights-holders 10% of all photo / PhotoPass revenues for images which included the theater. Block the theater....eliminate all surrounding PhotoPass presence...problem solved.

Another possibility is that Disney was looking to avoid (or at least minimize) any future litigation from parties who would claim damages for use of the Theater design. Contracts are challenged all the time. Disney spent millions to defend its rights to the Pooh characters. WB is doing the same now to retain Superman.

Build 'The Hat' and eliminate theater imagery from all merchandise & marketing materials. Suddenly there's no direct revenue stream generated by the Theater facade (no PhotoPass, no marketing use, etc.)

That said, the prior comments about Disney execs wanting a more clear-cut icon for the park make perfect sense, too. In the end, I suspect all of these factors may have played some role. We may never know which factor was most critical, though.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:49 PM   #60
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Instead of the hat....

Maybe reinvent the Mickey ears water tower when backlot tour is dismantled? If it wouldn't look good where the Mickey hat currently is, maybe in front of the entrance or summink?

Having said that, I'm no imagineer.... I spect they could come up with much betterer ideas than me.
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