How it Continued

IN THE WORDS OF MICHAEL TARTAGLIA

(A MORE COMPREHENSIVE STORY OF THE HOLLYWOOD FOOTPRINTS)
In 1953, Grauman's Chinese Theatre was remodeled for the first picture filmed in a new process called Cinemascope. That movie was called "The Robe”. Jean Simmons was chosen to be honored with her hands and feet in cement to commemorate the opening of the picture.

Jean Klossner "Mr. Footprint" was the man who performed the world-famous footprint ceremonies from 1926-1957 but he refused to continue do so after having a feud over payment with Sid Grauman.

Charles Skouras bought the Chinese Theatre which became part of a chain of theatres for his company known as Fox West Coast Theatres.

At the time, Grauman's Chinese Theatre sponsored the footprint ceremonies so, therefore, they were responsible for finding someone to do the job.

They sent someone to the theatre during the remodeling and asked to speak to the man in charge of the remodeling. That man was J. Walter Bantau, head of construction for Fox West Coast Theatres.

Mr. Bantau was asked if he could recommend someone for the job. He recommended his young assistant, John Tartaglia.

When John was asked if he would do the footprints, he said "Yes!" He was told it was just a temporary job until Jean Klossner would take over and so what began as a temporary job would last for 34 years as Jean Klossner never returned and in those 34 years, John Tartaglia would enshrine 38 celebrities in cement using cement and a special hardener that he himself chose and had mixed together according to his instructions.

John appeared on 2 television shows because of his work. The first was “Art Link Letters” house party and the 2nd was "I've got a Secret" with Steve Allen.

And yet, after 34 years of service to Hollywood for doing the footprints, Hollywood has never honored him for his service and dedication to the job.

John never charged for his services, only the materials needed, because he worked for the company which owned the theatre.

But after John retired, he was called to do Eddie Murphy's footprints in 1987 and because he was retired, he charged $300.00 for his services.

William Hertz was District Manager for National General Corporation which then owned the Chinese Theatre.

John gave his bill for $300 to William Hertz who was insulted to be billed for what he thought was a free service. But John told him he was retired and therefore had a right to charge for his services.

That was John Tartaglia's thanks for 34 years of service to Hollywood and for coming to the rescue when they needed someone to do the footprints.

I know all this to be true because I am his son.

Sincerely,

Michael Tartaglia