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April 16, 1916|
Wishek, North Dakota, United States
January 15, 2001 (aged 84)|
Los Angeles, California, United States
Ted Mann (April 16, 1916 – January 15, 2001) was an American businessman, involved in the film industry, and head of Mann Theatres. He famously changed the name of Grauman's Chinese Theater to Mann's Chinese Theater when he purchased the National General Theatre chain that owned it in 1973.
Born to a Jewish family in Wishek, North Dakota, Mann started off in the movie business as an usher around the time he attended the University of Minnesota in the 1930s. He rented the Selby Theatre in Saint Paul, Minnesota for $100 a month and began to build his own company. He ran the theater almost completely by himself, expanding to 25 venues within a few years.
Mann sold the theaters to General Cinema Corporation (founded by Philip Smith and then led by Richard A. Smith) in 1970 and moved to California. The first production to his credit was 1969's The Illustrated Man, based on a Ray Bradbury book. He didn't stay out of the theater business for long, and purchased the troubled 276-screen National General Theatre chain in 1973. Mann soon expanded the chain to 360 screens, but again sold off his theaters in 1986, this time to Gulf+Western, which later renamed itself to Paramount Communications (which itself became part of Viacom). Grauman's Theater eventually regained its original name in late 2001.
Both the Orpheum and Pantages venues of today's Hennepin Theatre District in Minneapolis were once owned by Mann. He eventually owned at least six theaters in the city's downtown region. The Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis is named for him.
On 24 June 1934, Ted Mann married Ida Charon (1911–1997). Before their divorce, Ted and Ida Mann had two daughters, Victoria Mann Sims and Roberta Lynn Mann-Benson (died 2010). He married actress Rhonda Fleming in 1977, and they remained together until Mann died at age 84 in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke. Upon his death he was survived by, in addition to Fleming, two daughters, a sister Edythe, two grandsons, and two granddaughters.
- The Illustrated Man (film) (1969)
- Buster and Billie (1974)
- Lifeguard (film) (1976)
- The Nude Bomb (1980)
- Brubaker (1980)
- Krull (film) (1983)
- Los Angeles Times: "Ted Mann; Theater Chain Owner Put His Name on Grauman's Chinese" by Myrna Oliver January 17, 2001
- "Paid Notice - Memorials MANN, IDA". NY Times. 23 December 1997.
- "Divorce settlement just not enough". Gadsden Times. 30 July 1978.
- Foreman, Judy (2 March 2014). "Dr. Victoria Mann Simms, Champion of Early Childhood Education, Opens Up about Cause". Noozhawk, Santa Barbara, California.
- "Mann-Benson, Dr. Roberta". Star Tribune, Minneapolis. 28 October 2010.
- Oliver, Myrna (17 January 2001). "Ted Mann; Theater Chain Owner Put His Name on Grauman's Chinese". Los Angeles Times.