The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on September 2, 1982 · 120
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · 120

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Los Angeles, California
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Thursday, September 2, 1982
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120
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CALEND. AR Coo Ancicleo (Times Television Listings Thursday, September 2, 1982 I'ari VI C1ARY KKIKDMAN am Angrlm Timw LOWDEN: SAHARA OWNER PROMISES A CLEAN SWEEP STAGE WATCH ON SPRING STREET, A SITE FOR SOARING VISIONS By SYLVIE DRAKE. Times Staff Writer he first time we noticed this place," said Bill Bush-nell, standing in a tiny clearing in the vast marble-walled interior of the former Security National Bank on Spring Street, "was 1978, when Ralph (Waite) and the rest of us were filming 'On the Nickel' and had our production offices across the street in the Alexandria Hotel. It occurred to us then that it would make a great theater." Little did they dream, however, that it would turn out to be the future home of the Los Angeles Ac INSIDE TV FALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE CHILDREN'S BATTLEFRONT By LEE MARGULIES, Times Staff Writer Headlines from the children's television battlefront: "Captain Kangaroo" goes from terrible to worse at CBS. . . . "Project Peacock" appears to be clinging to life at NBC. . . . KTLA Channel 5 violates federal broadcasting regulations by allowing a commercial featuring Tom Hatten to air during the cartoon series he hosts. . . . And now the details. "CAPTAIN KANGAROO'S" odyssey into oblivion continues, courtesy of CBS. It was just a year ago that the degeneration of America's oldest children's TV series began. CBS took the show out of the 8 a.m. weekday time slot it had occupied for nearly 26 years, halved it to 30 minutes and moved it to 7 a.m. Station clearances and ratings dropped, but that was only the beginning. A few months later, "Captain Kangaroo" was shifted to 6:30 a.m., a virtual Siberian time period INSIDE CALENDAR JAZZ: Teri Thornton by Leonard Feather. Page 4. OPENINGS: Page 5 POP: Suburbs and R.E.M. by Craig Lee. Page 4. RADIO: AMFM Highlights. Page 12. STAGE: "In the Boom Boom Room" by John C. Mahoney. Page S. TELEVISION: Today's programming. Pages 9, 10 and II. tors' Theater, of which Bushnell is producing director, a position he acceded to later that year when founder Ralph Waite withdrew from the project. As reported in The Times last week, the historic bank building was recently acquired by the Community Redevelopment Agency from the President Trading Co., an electronics wholesaler, for $713,000. It is being turned over to the L.A. Actors' Theater to become the centerpiece of an $8.6-million, four-theater performing arts center. The complex, which also involves the adjoining parking lot, will include that made it impossible for the show to be seen by the preschoolers for whom it was intended. . Professing finally to have recognized the problem, CBS announced last May that, come fall, "Captain Kangaroo" would be moved again from weekdays to weekend mornings, when more children are available to watch the tube. A CBS release explained that the network had decided that "if we couldn't bring the children to the Captain, we could bring the Captain to the children." So when will "Captain Kangaroo" air when it becomes a weekend show as of Sept. 18? 6 a.m. That is the West Coast air time, at any rate, to which KNXT Channel 2 in Los Angeles will adhere. Outside the Pacific Time Zone, "Captain Kangaroo" is due to be seen at 7 a.m. on Saturdays, but the network is starting the Saturday-morning feed an hour earlier here to squeeze in more children's shows before its college football coverage begins in the afternoon. Please see INSIDE TV, Page 9 Warehoused electronic equipment Bank, to become L.A. Actors' three restaurants (one of them streetside), art galleries, a stand-up bar, ticket kiosk, arts bookstore, scene shop, costume shop, several rehearsal halls and tower office space. "It's essentially a joint project," Bushnell explained. "The Community Redevelopment Agency, which has committed $1.5 million to the project, will retain ownership of the land (including the parking lot on which two of the four theaters are to be built) and we'll own the buildings." Another $2 million has been applied for from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the remaining $5.1 million will come from the theater, Bushnell said, "from contributed income. We're looking at several possibilities, including syndicating the building. It will be a combination of equity investment and mortgage." A Monday on-site visit revealed a curious spectacle. On the slightly scuffed exterior (built in 1916 by architect John Parkinson) stand eight, massive granite columns, capped with curl-. ing Ionic capitals and topped with a carved balustrade. Very imposing. On the inside is the vast marble lobby with a ceiling-wide stained-glass skylight (grimy and damaged), under which every square foot of available space currently lies 12 feet deep in electronics equipmentsome plastic -wrapped and new and neatly stacked, some dis From left, consulting director Alan Mandell, producer Diane White, producing director William Bushnell visualize lobby layout of center. GARY FRIEDMAN Lea Angelea Times ,,:n; ' ' I it " i a Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Halsey Stevens' Sinfonia Breve. TILSON THOMAS LEADS STEVENS' SINFONIA BREVE By MARTIN BERNHEIMER. Times Music Critic Some pieces travel slower than others. But the case of Halsey Stevens' eloquent Sinfonia Breve, which was introduced to an" audience of 7,743 Tuesday night at Hollywood Bowl, is ridiculous. Stevens has been a quiet, reliable, significant contributor to Los Angeles culture since 1946, when he became head of the composition department at USC. He wrote his tight, essentially bleak, eminently accessible 18-minute Sinfonia in 1957. The Los Angeles Philharmonic didn't discover it, however, until - yni lit crowds floor of old Security National Theater Performing Arts Center. figured and old and strewn about in mountainous heaps of technological detritus. Very Samuel Beckett. It's hard to see the future through the entrails of "Tron," but Bushnell sees it clearly. Architect John Sergio Fisher, "with whom I redid the Geary Theater in 1966 when we brought the American Conservatory Theater into San Francisco," will do the renovation, said Bushnell. Armed with a stack of blueprints, he described how things would be by the fall of 1985 when the LAAT Performing Arts Center expects to open. The lobby will be on three levels. At the far end, a circular sta.rcase will pierce down into the basement ( where one of the restaurants and a 348-seat theater with an acute thrust stage will be housed). The stairs then sweep upward to a promenade level that will offer a commanding view of the majestic lobby. Doors from the walkway will open to the other two midsize theaters, to be built in the adjoining tower: a 492 -seat main auditorium with a corner "soft" thrust stage ("on which I'd like to take on a large inventory of untapped American classics," Bushnell said) and a 306-seat modified proscenium house with acute stadium -raked seating that will be devoted to music, dance and musical cabaret. The raked seating will be reflected on the outside as an inverted zig-Please see SITE, Page 5 a quarter of a century later, when Michael Tilson Thomas included it in a "Made in L.A." marathon at UCLA last December. The Bowl "encore" represents its local premiere before a conventional subscription audience. Better late, as Confucius and Til-son Thomas would say, than never. Ever cognizant of his own USC roots, Tilson Thomas is making welcome amends for past Philharmonic slights. Similar service soon will be performed on behalf of In-golf Dahl and, one trusts, Ellis Kohs Please see BOWL, Page 5 By LEE GRANT, Times Stuff Writer LAS VEGAS-There is a religious fervor to the "elbow grease" plans Paul Lowden has for the Sahara Hotel here, that venerable gaming establishment thai anchors one end of the glittering Strip. Lowden, 38, a former lounge musician and the youngest hotel-casino owner in Nevada and perhaps the world, bought the property recently for around $50 million from the Del E. Webb Corp. He formally took over the operation this week. "Dirt," he said. "I see dirt. What this place needs is some elbow grease. You're looking at a site that demands attention. We will pick and pick at it and pound and pound." Lowden's religious fervor also comes through in another way. He is a born-again Christian and has personally booked a convention next summer of "the biggest names in the Christian ministry, including the top born-again entertainers. I'm interested in that movement." Early this week, on his first full day in the president's office that sits on the mezzanine above the casino, Lowden's eyes opened wide, his smile broadened, his enthusiasm quickened in describing "this convention of Christian speakers, teachers, singers right here in what people think is Sin City. "The world will learn that Christians actually live and work in Las Vegas. More and more people here are giving testimony. Jim Bakker of the PTL (Praise the Lord) Club will beam his TV show from the Sahara. Kenneth Copeland is coming. They're all coming to Las Vegas. Las Vegas!" Lowden's acquisition of the Saha -ra gives him hotels at both ends of CRITIC AT LARGE WATCHING INNOCENCE TAKE WING By CHARLES CHAMPLIN, Times Arts Editor There is that fleeting, confusing, exciting time in our lives I wish mine seemed like only yesterday when innocence coexists with our growing sexual awareness. Giving it a name puberty or early adolescence is unhelpful, diminishing the magic and the widening wonder of life's possibilities in those brief moments. The movies never have had much luck capturing that period accurately, and American films hardly any at all. Somehow, as in those beach pictures of yesteryear, what the golden boys and their surfboards and the golden girls in their bikinis were up to was so heavily filtered by cynical adult perceptions that the results were patronizing, fatuous or voyeuristic and occasionally all three. RODERICK MANN SARANDON: ON A ROLE OF SORTS 'C areers are strange, said Susan Sarandon, sitting on the terrace of her hotel suite overlooking the city. "I mean, I went straight from a film where I had to say: 'There's an alien strain consuming my blood' to one where I play the part of a stenographer who lives in a little house with her mother. "And before that I was in a film where I played a woman stumbling around a Greek island complaining of not getting enough sex." But she's lucky. And she knows it. There are a lot of actresses around who would have jumped at the chance to play just one of those roles, for all are in major movies. Sarandon accosts the alien being in the film "The Hunger," which she just completed in England. She plays a stenographer in "The Buddy System," now being filmed in Hollywood. And she plays a singer involved in a celibate relationship in Paul Mazursky's "Tempest." "Susan can make most roles believable," Louis Malle once said. And he said it before she was nom- the Strip. He has owned the Hacienda since 1977. An airport limousine driver noted of the Sahara on the north and the Hacienda on the south, "He'll get you comin' or goin'." Lowden purchased the 932-room Sahara during what is one of the worst summers in Las Vegas history. Room occupancy and gambling revenues are down substantially. Many hotels are cutting costs by bringing in production shows to replace huge-salaried stars who have failed to draw customers (the Las Vegas Hilton this week premiered "Moulin Rouge," Caesars Palace will mount the Broadway play "42nd Street" next year). Lowden, however, keeps the faith, so to speak. He expects a strong recovery. "I do have faith in this town," he said. "It's 'not a train wreck. It's a business cycle. As a Please see LOWDEN, Page MARY FRAMPTON Lou Angelm Timed New Sahara owner Paul Lowden The later teen-agers of. say, "Grease I" all seemed to look and act like antiquarians who were a good 27 at least. The astonishing achievement of the modest and delicious little import from Scotland called "Gregory's Girl" is that its teen-agers closely resemble teen-agers, in that they are neither gurgling fools nor sex-crazed degenerates. The young men and women in Bill Forsyth's easygoing and affecting slice of life at a secondary modern school near the public -housing terraces of a new town in Scotland are obsessed with each other to a dazing degree that would have rung true in the upstate Oregon of 1940 and probably in the downstate Ohio of 1874. Complexions and voices are uncertain; anatomical differences are matters of intense fascination, speculation and curiosity, especially among the lads. The girls, now as " then, seem infinitely wiser year for year, sometimes appearing ages old in their crafty schemings and en-trapments. Not everything has stayed unchanged. The parity of the sexes has swept on to the soccer field a right ' Please see CRITIC, Page 7 Susan Sarandon inated for an Oscar for her performance in "Atlantic City," which he directed. Mazursky's "Tempest" has drawn mixed reactions. Sarandon said she thought it would. Although she admires the director, she was not overly enamored with her role of a free-wheeling singer who goes off to a Greek island with John Cassavetes. "I guess that's because my idea of a liberated woman isn't someone whose entire life is designed around men, as that character's was. After Please see SUSAN. Page 6

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