World Famous TCL Chinese Theatre Hollywood, Site of “The Wizard of Oz” Premiere 79 Years Ago,
Celebrates Recovery of Stolen Ruby Slippers Invites Slippers’ Owner To Exhibit in Hollywood
** THE SHOWBIZ LIVE! – (Hollywood, CA, Sept. 4)—The world renowned TCL Chinese Theatre, home to the internationally-famous forecourt of the stars, where some 250 Hollywood stars have left their handprints and footprints in cement, and site of the original world premiere of “The Wizard of Oz,” is celebrating the announcement today of the recovery in Minnesota of the iconic ruby red slippers that Judy Garland wore in the film.
“As home to the original film premiere 79 years ago, with all the stars in attendance, we feel a special bond with the film, its stars and fans,” says TCL Chinese Theatre president and COO Alwyn Hight Kushner.
“To celebrate this important milestone, we’re inviting the owners of the slippers to bring them to Hollywood for a special public display in the very theatre where they first appeared.”
In 1939, Judy Garland, with the help of best pal Mickey Rooney, planted her footprints and handprints in the forecourt cement.
In the 1970s, the ruby slippers from the film made a couple of special event appearances at the theatre and in 2013 they reappeared for the launch of “The Wizard of Oz” in IMAX 3-D.
The history of the ruby slippers
- The shoes are covered in about 2,300 sequins, according to the Hollywood Reporter
- In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum’s 1900 book on which the film is based – Dorothy wore silver shoes. However MGM Studios chose to turn them bright red to show off new Technicolor film techniques
- In 2016, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington DC raised more than $300,000 for the restoration of a pair they had acquired
- In 2012, actor Leonardo DiCaprio was named as the lead benefactor in a group of movie lovers who bought one of the pairs. It will be displayed at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures when it opens in Los Angeles next year
- The fourth known pair is owned by a private collector, who bought them from a Tennessee schoolteacher who had won them in a 1940 competition
- Actress Debbie Reynolds was also once given some ruby slippers from the movie but these were used for screen tests and never worn by Garland. They sold for more than $500,000 at a 2011 auction