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Sunday, Jun 4, 2023


Staying at Home

While runaway production is on the lips of most every Hollywood executive, the folks who made the new Austin Powers movie decided to stay right here to do all their filming.

They even made an inside joke about it in the movie.

While driving through what is supposed to be the English countryside, cheeky star Mike Myers turns to co-star Heather Graham and says, “You know what’s remarkable? That England looks in no way like Southern California.”

Producer Eric McCleod said Myers actually ad-libbed that line while he and Graham sat in a car on a Los Angeles sound stage and footage from Kanan Dume Road in Malibu was shown on a rear projection screen.

“Mike thought it was funny when he looked back at the screen, and he said the line,” McCleod recalled.

The producer said he and Myers both felt strongly about the need to film in L.A. “We both live here and have families here,” he said. “We’ll do everything in our powers to shoot here.”

Check-Out Time

The Airtel Plaza Hotel and Conference Center gained some notoriety recently as a stopover for Jody Diane Babydol Gibson, the woman who pleaded not guilty last week to charges of running an international call-girl ring catering to celebrities and business titans.

But that’s not likely to put the Van Nuys hotel on anyone’s list of haunts for the rich and famous.

Jack McGrath, a hotel spokesman, said Gibson lived modestly after checking in two or three days a month. She preferred the $89-a-night rooms and often used her auto club card for a 10 percent discount, McGrath said.

And, Gibson showed little interest in Airtel’s presidential suite and other rooms that featured hot tubs.

Maybe that’s not so surprising if she really wanted to keep a low profile. “It would look a little funny if a single woman was taking the presidential suite,” McGrath said.

Where Are Those Olives?

Some L.A. supermarkets are getting so big that shoppers need a map to find their way around.

The Ralphs on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile just underwent a major renovation that left longtime customers wandering the aisles in confusion.

To help them out, the company has printed up maps of the block-long store that include a diagram of its layout as well as an index giving the location of more than 300 popular items.

Customers are relieved.

“I would spend an hour in this place looking for just a few things,” said late-night shopper Susan Hill, who knew her way around the supermarket until the renovation. “You can’t ask for help to find everything you need.”

Dirty Dome

Take a drive over the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro and you’ll see two white, space-age domes covering a storage area at the L.A. Export Terminal.

Well, one dome is white. The other is a gritty gray because it has been there longer and became charged with static electricity. As a result, it’s collecting dirt like a magnet.

In the next few weeks, a variety of cleaning solutions will be tested on the dome to see what works without damaging the fabric. There’s also the problem of reaching the top of the 122-foot-high dome.

“We’ll need someone on a man-lift to clean it up,” said Gerry Swan, president of the terminal. “Somebody’s going to have to get real close with a scrub brush.”

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