No joke. A new comedy club is opening up inside a movie theater in Hollywood.
In the latest effort by exhibitors to reinvent themselves and draw new patrons, the Chinese 6 Theatre complex is partnering with veteran comedy producers Jeru Tillman and Chris Spencer to create a new comedy club adjacent to the historic Grauman's Chinese Theatre at the Hollywood and Highland Center.
Called Inside Jokes, the club is set to open Friday with Russell Simmons' Presents All Def Digital Comedy. It will operate out of one of the six auditoriums at the Chinese 6 that has been remodeled to include sofas and tables.
Patrons will be able to order food and drinks from a new Solo Tapa, a Spanish restaurant in the lobby of the multiplex. The venue also has a lounge on the second floor.
“Our aim is to create Hollywood's ultimate comedy and entertainment experience,” said Tillman, who previously worked at the famous Comedy Store.
This Saturday and Sunday, the club will host an Inside Jokes All Star Weekend hosted by Russell Peters. The event will feature Iliza Schlesinger, winner of NBC's "Last Comic Standing"; Neal Brennan, co-creator of "The Chappelle Show"; Harland Williams, star of "Half Baked"; Maria Bamford of "Arrested Development"; and Bill Burr of HBO's "One Night Stand" fame.
The auditorium will continue to operate as a movie theater when there are no comedy shows, as part of a strategy to make the Chinese 6 an entertainment destination, said Alwyn Hight Kushner, president of TCL Chinese Theatres. The company also operates the historic former Grauman's Chinese Theatre next door that is being remodeled to accommodate a giant Imax screen and is expected to reopen later this summer.
"The idea is to bring in new and different types of people who maybe haven't come to theaters in a while,'' Hight Kushner said. "People have so many great entertainment options in their homes, we have to think outside the box in order to lure people to cinemas these days."
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