'Pacific Heights' Premiere Scares Up a Crowd

The scene: Monday night's premiere of 20th Century Fox's suspense thriller "Pacific Heights" at the Avco Cinema followed by a party at the chic Noa Noa restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Who was there: The film's stars, Michael Keaton, Matthew Modine, Laurie Metcalf and Tippi Hedren (her daughter--and co-star--Melanie Griffith was filming in Berlin) as well as director John Schlesinger, who came with Shirley MacLaine; among the 1,800 at the screening and 250 at the after-party were Johnny Depp with Winona Ryder, Marisa Berenson, "Batman" director Tim Burton, James Woods, seldom-seen producer Robert Evans, Penny Marshall, Howie Mandel, Ted and Susie Field, and Buck Henry with Carrie Fisher. Because Schlesinger is British, there were local Brit Pack notables, including David Hockney, Roddy McDowall and Music Center Opera general director Peter Hemmings.

The locale: Noa Noa's design was described by an employee as "21st Century combined with '50s coffee shop." One guest appreciated the metal, faux African tribal shields above "the Howard Johnson thing they've got going with the orange booths." Another said, "the ladies room is a real treat--kind of like the Tiki Room at Disneyland."

The buzz: After seeing Michael Keaton's psycho tenant character, landlords begin to look like sympathetic figures. "Next thing you know they'll be making agents look lovable," said one woman.

Quoted: Comparing "Pacific Heights" to "Fatal Attraction," executive producer James Robinson said the film was jokingly called "Fatal Tenant" around the set. "I don't think this is going to do much for rent control," Keaton said.

Dress mode: The usual Hollywood after-school casual that runs the spectrum from Italian wool to Harley leather. Be advised that hand-painted ties look to be this year's dreaded Christmas fun-gift.

Overheard: Of an unnamed industry player, one guest enthused, "His talent is really in the producer/sleazoid side of the business. He's really a formidable talent." Where but Hollywood could you hear praise like that?

Chow: An exemplary buffet of Polynesian chicken salad, Thai curry with roasted scallops, rigatoni in tomato basil sauce, as well as shrimp, oysters and truffles passed on trays. Noa Noa calls its cuisine "California-French with an Oriental accent." A guest described it as "Brentwood cooking."

Fact not fiction: Schlesinger, who had just returned from directing opera in Salzburg, Austria, began his show-biz career doing a magic act for World War II troops in Southeast Asia.

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