A benefit party this Saturday capping American Cinematheque's 18-day Rock on Film festival at the Wiltern Theatre has been canceled, a victim of "escalating costs," organizers said Monday. Although more than 300 ticket holders had shelled out $100 for the event, Cinematheque Artistic Director Gary Essert said he realized last week that a catered reception and live band would be too expensive: "Costs involved logistics--the stagehands, the theater itself, the presentation of food all affected the other." However, Essert added that the Cinematheque has no financial problems. Ticket holders may opt to put their $100 toward the American Cinematheque Moving Picture Ball in March ($250 a pop) or receive a refund. The Los Angeles premieres of "Jimi at Monterey" and "Shake" will screen Saturday as planned, along with a midnight screening of "C-S Blues," rescheduled from Jan. 2. The festival has suffered from several last-minute film cancellations and reschedulings as well as sound and screening problems. Essert's response: "It goes with the territory. When you put together something this complicated with material this old, things happen."
DEBORAH CAULFIELD Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
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