Campton Place: A Tale of Two Cities

Times Staff Writer

S.F. STYLE, L.A. NAME--Campton Place, the stylish hotel on San Francisco’s Union Square, will indeed have a downtown L.A. version--in about two years.

Next week Campton Place president Bill Wilkinson will announce that Ayala International (which owns Campton Place) and the Treptow Development Co. of Houston have purchased the Mayflower Hotel on Grand Avenue for a now-reported $12 million. The 350-room hotel, closed since last August, will be gutted for renovation, then scaled down to about 200 rooms.

Although they are aiming for the “same feel as Campton Place,” it will have a separate name (still unchosen) and a separate identity.

PLAY IT AGAIN--It was a long day’s journey into night as Dudley Moore and several friends worked their way through lunch at Ma Maison last Friday, made friends with folks at the next table, opened several Dom Perignons, then departed (with new friends from the next table) for dinner at Jimmy’s. Moore had played away the afternoon on a piano pulled in from the small dining room (several more bottles of Dom Perignon and about $30 were contributed as tips) and returned to play in the late evening. And he was back again the next night, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., making another $50 in tips. . . . The rich and famous have such a lot of laughs. Like Margot Kidder, leaving Ma Maison on the arm of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau on Wednesday night and meeting with Jill St. John, Robert Wagner, Fred and Robyn Astaire at the eatery’s door. Astaire, always the gentleman, reached down to bring his wife up a step to meet the famous Canadian. “No, I don’t want to meet him,” she said, smiling. Meanwhile, Kidder, in silver running shoes to make her suitably shorter than the politically unlucky Pierre, clung fast to his arm.


IN THE HABIT--First, the word leaked out that Phyllis Diller avoided fans by traveling cross- country dressed in a nun’s habit. OK, a nun’s habit run up in the shop of her friend, designer Bob Mackie, but pretty much the standard issue, pre-Vatican II garb.

Thus hiding her persona, the alleged Sister Louise could read or knit on flights--in the first-class section, of course, not home to many sisters.

But how to hit the swap meets that Diller loves so well?

Ah, she becomes “Ada” (her real middle name and what she instructed her pals to call her) with a dark brunette hair in a funky pageboy with bobby pin.


A sharp eye could have caught her last weekend at the Van Nuys Swap Meet, scooping up chunky necklaces, makeup and a little pants outfit.

Or a sharp ear, since the laugh is impossible to disguise.

NEW POSTS--Wallace Turner of the New York Times--almost as much a San Francisco institution as the Golden Gate Bridge--this fall heads north toward home. Formerly with the Portland Oregonian, where he won his Pulitzer, Turner will be covering the Great Northwest, operating out of a newly created NYT bureau in Seattle. Robert Lindsey leaves Los Angeles and takes over as S.F. bureau chief from Turner. In Los Angeles, the new boss is Judith Cummings.

TOUGH GUY--Kirk Douglas gets honored in his hometown, Amsterdam, N.Y., Saturday, when as part of the city’s celebration of 100 years of cityhood, it dedicates a park in his name. His stage name, that is. Or it would be Issur Danielovitch Demsky Park that Gov. Mario Cuomo will be there dedicating. When Douglas was growing up, the roughest street was Eagle Street, which went down to the train tracks and got tougher the closer to the tracks it went. Douglas lived in the house right next to the tracks.


PRE-SUFFRAGE--Guess the women’s movement hasn’t hit certain beaches. Why else would an invitation to a party hosted by “The California Motion Picture and Television Community” carry only male names among the 30 sponsors. It was a $500 minimum contribution to Sen. Patrick Leahy set for Thursday night, and among the 30 men signing up to host with Barry Diller were Warren Beatty, Mike Eisner, Alan Ladd Jr., Norman Lear, Frank Rothman, MCA’s Lew Wasserman, David Wolper. Former Sen. John Tunney hosted Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, at a reception the night before at the Beverly Wilshire.

AIRPORT WORKOUT--Thank goodness she’s in shape. Jane Fonda, who left Wednesday night for Paris, arriving French time Thursday night, is set to appear there today and fly back Saturday. It seems the French can now reach for her “Women Coming of Age” book instead of an eclair. A spokesman for Fonda says they are still trying to track down reports that started early this year of pirated tapes of her “Workout” being played in hotels in Johannesburg, South Africa. New England hotelier Jerry Dunfey set up the alert, after he accompanied Sen. Ted Kennedy to South Africa.

TOPPING OUT--The invitation showed Fran Savitch, executive assistant to Mayor Tom Bradley, at the age of 4 1/2. A little older, but very glamorous, Savitch showed up at the benefit for the Women’s Overseas Education Fund and found a packed Rex restaurant. The big-ticket fund-raiser--tables of eight were $3,000--was heavily oversold, and more than $85,000 was raised for one of Savitch’s favorite charities. Downtown heavy hitters abounded. Her husband Leon was, of course, on hand, as were her daughters, Dorothy and Rhonda.

OH, NO--Brooke Shields, the book jacket proclaimed “world’s most famous coed,” is not just a pretty face. No, she is also conscious of the strain her career at Princeton is putting on her. As she tells in her new beauty book, “On Your Own,”: “I know I need exercise now more than ever--all those long hours of sitting and studying don’t do much for anyone’s body.” But were they supposed to, Brooke?


OUT-OF-TOWNERS--The everywhere Margot Kidder will be co-hosting a $100-a-head reception for Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.), along with Sen. Alan Cranston, Steven Sills and Robert Walden on June 9. Then Simon goes on to speak at the dinner for Rep. Mel Levine at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Kidder will also be an honored guest at the dinner party series in Washington for the Women’s Campaign Fund on Tuesday night. Of course, at the 17 tony dinner parties there will be other draws--like Warren Beatty, Joan Mondale and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. The L.A. version set for next Friday also has Kidder as a guest (she’s certainly getting political). And Walter Matthau, John Lithgow and Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird. The bipartisan WCF provides financial and technical assistance to qualified progressive women seeking elective office.