Behold the “test slab,” perched on the refreshment counter in the lobby of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The people who supervise this beloved Hollywood ceremony have perfected a formula over many years’ time to create commemorative pieces that will stand up to wear and tear. If you’ve never read Stacey Endres and Robert Cushman’s definitive history of the theater and its world-famous ceremony, Hollywood at Your Feet (Pomegranate Press, 1992) you can readily find used copies online, and I encourage you to do so.
Robert Downey, Jr. put his hand and footprints in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Monday, and I was honored to serve as master of ceremonies for the event. I also got an insider’s view of a ritual the public never sees, when the honoree is given an opportunity to practice writing his name in cement on a “test slab” placed on the refreshment counter inside Grauman’s lobby. Robert quickly realized he had his work cut out for him: it isn’t easy to do!
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