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BTLs

BTLs

Mayor Malaprop

SunAmerica Inc. chairman Eli Broad took a page from Mark Twain at this month’s news conference to announce the Arco Foundation’s $10 million donation to the struggling Disney Concert Hall project.

“Rumors of the Disney Hall’s demise have been greatly exaggerated,” Broad observed.

But by the end of L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan’s brief presentation, Broad probably wished the topic of “rumored demise” had never come up.

“Roy Disney would be looking down with pride on all of us today,” Riordan told the assembled crowd, which included members of the Disney family.

Ooops. Walt Disney may be gone, but his brother Roy was still alive and officed in beautiful downtown Burbank last time we checked.

The Emerald City

Where was the president of University of Notre Dame on St. Patrick’s Day last week? At a big bash at the Indiana university, home of the Fighting Irish?

Nope. Rev. Edward A. Malloy was in Beverly Hills at an annual banquet thrown by the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Los Angeles.

Malloy was the featured speaker at the bash, which also boasted Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, City Councilman John Ferraro, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, Northrop Grumman Corp. chairman Kent Kresa and SunAmerica Inc. chairman Eli Broad.

But shouldn’t Malloy have been in South Bend, Ind., at a St. Patrick’s-themed party? Not at all, says university spokesman Dennis Brown.

“People are always surprised when we tell them that Notre Dame doesn’t make a real big deal out of St. Patrick’s Day. We have no formal activities to speak of, and Father Malloy didn’t miss out on a thing,” Brown says.

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Too real for comfort

Are people in North Hollywood still a little jittery about automatic weapons? The police seem to think so.

A couple of weeks after the foiled Feb. 28 bank robbery and police gunfight, a crew from DreamWorks Television was scheduled to shoot a bank robbery scene for the show “High Incident,” just a few blocks from the Bank of America where the real bank robbery took place.

Police, however, refused to issue a film permit for the shoot, according to the Hollywood Reporter, because they have a temporary ban on filming in the area that involves simulated automatic weapons fire.

Police apparently fear a staged gunfight would prove too upsetting to neighbors.

Thrifts of war

The war of words between Washington Mutual Inc. and H.F. Ahmanson & Co. got a little hotter last week, as the two rival suitors continued their battle for control of Great Western Financial Corp.

Washington Mutual questioned the accuracy of some of Ahmanson’s financial estimates from its original merger proposal, which prompted Ahmanson to fire back that “claims and information being presented to the marketplace by Washington Mutual are inaccurate and irresponsible.”

Specifically, Washington Mutual had claimed that Ahmanson would be “among the worst capitalized thrifts in the nation” based on its merger projections. Washington Mutual also called Ahmanson’s projected cost savings from a merger “aggressive” (read: unrealistic).

In both instances, Ahmanson spelled out its version of how Washington Mutual is supposedly distorting the facts.

“(Washington Mutual) has been putting out some numbers, primarily to the investment community, and we just thought they were flat-out wrong,” said Ahmanson spokeswoman Mary Trigg.

Meanwhile, Washington Mutual spokesman Bill Ehrlich refused to get involved in the mudslinging. He would only say that Washington Mutual’s assertions about the shakiness of Ahmanson’s projections were based on numbers that “were the most current available at the time.”

Bunny disks

Digital versatile disks, or DVD as they’re more popularly known, have been promoted by their manufacturers as the next key technology in computing. With storage capacity that dwarfs current CD-ROMs, a single DVD can hold the collected works of Shakespeare, a couple of Mozart symphonies and a short film by Andy Warhol.

But the first commercial DVD title to actually be commissioned? Playboy Magazine’s “1997 Playmate of the Year” program, set to be released in May. Subsequent lofty titles will include “The Best of Pamela Anderson” and “The Best of Jenny McCarthy.”

The Playboy disks are being manufacturered by Image Entertainment Inc., which apparently is just as comfortable cranking out more-wholesome fare it also has penned deals with Walt Disney Co.’s Buena Vista Home Video and with Hallmark Home Entertainment.

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