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People and Events

<i> From staff and wire reports </i>

You don’t generally get special service behind bars. But jail officials are willing to dial the phone whenever Kevin Mitnick wants to make a call. In fact, they insist upon it.

Mitnick, a Panorama City computer hacker accused, among other things, of causing $4 million in damage to a New England company, is awaiting trial in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles.

Prosecutors feared that Mitnick, who reportedly code-named himself “Condor” after a Robert Redford movie character, had set up certain telephone numbers that would allow him to access computers simply by dialing those numbers. But lawyers for the 25-year-old bespectacled computer fanatic argued that he has telephone rights, too.

So it was agreed that while a guard will punch the touch-tone buttons and monitor the receiver, an extension cord will be installed on Mitnick’s handset, enabling him to speak privately in another room.

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Mitnick, incidentally, is only allowed to call his family and, of course, his attorney.

T hey paved paradise and put up . . .

A pizza joint?

That’s right. It’s time to update the old Joni Mitchell lyric that lamented the dismantling of the historic Garden of Allah bungalows, which were followed by a parking lot.

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The Garden, once the Sunset Boulevard playground of such characters as F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Barrymore and Marlene Dietrich, has become the site of a Jacopo’s pizza shop.

Like props on a movie set, the famous (and not so famous) spots in Los Angeles seem constantly to be giving way to others.

The Tick-Tock restaurant in Hollywood, which had a longer run (58 years) than most before closing last year, will soon reemerge as a branch of Gorky’s, a trendy cafeteria with a Russian flavor.

The Garden of Allah isn’t the only colorful old Sunset Boulevard spot to go through several incarnations. Ciro’s, where a joker dressed like an Arab sheik once created a near riot by dropping a bag of phony diamonds on the floor, is now the Comedy Store. Earl Carroll’s--famous for its boast that “Through these portals pass the most beautiful girls in the world"--was reborn as the Aquarius Theater.

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Meanwhile, the Mocambo is a parking lot, the Trocadero is a billboard and the Clover Club is a cleaners.

A press release from Jacopo’s modestly admits that it “makes no promises to bring back the glitz and glamour of Hollywood” at its opening today. Indeed, it would be difficult to imagine, for example, the late humorist Robert Benchley hanging out there now.

It was Benchley, who upon falling into the Garden of Allah’s pool, supposedly got off the famous line: “Get me out of these clothes and into a dry martini.”

Without exiting your jalopy, you can buy a hamburger, a doughnut, a roll of film and a videotape in Los Angeles. Hospitals have had drive-through blood drives. You can even drop income-tax returns out of your car window at Terminal Annex if you wait until the last minute.

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So, perhaps, it was only logical that entrepreneur David Rivera would open a drive-through floral shop on Venice Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Rivera says it’s the only service of its kind in the city. He might get an argument from the kids who sell flowers at every other intersection in the city.


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