The Death of a Theater: The city’s namesake movie palace, the grandly designed Los Angeles Theatre at 615 S. Broadway, closed Thursday night, ending a run of 62 years with a showing of the movie “Brainscan.” Only last November, the Metropolitan Theatres chain initiated a low-price admission policy in a last-minute attempt to save the theater from closing. The Los Angeles, which will continue to host special events and movie locations, joins the ranks of such other Broadway movie palaces as the Globe and the Broadway theaters, which lately have been homes to swap meets, and the Million Dollar and United Artists, which house religious groups.
* ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Setting Video Record: “Mrs. Doubtfire,” released Tuesday on video, has been selling so fast that Fox Video president Bob DeLellis said deliveries to retailers reached 10 million units by Friday. He added that sales made “Mrs. Doubtfire” the fastest-selling live-action video ever. Fox initially predicted sales of 8 million units of the Robin Williams comedy by year-end but has now raised its estimates to more than 12 million. “Mrs. Doubtfire,” released in 1993, is still playing in more than 800 theaters.
Viewing Tips for Kids: Continental Cablevision is sending materials to schools, libraries and families aimed to help children become more literate about watching television. Developed during the last three years with educators and parent-teacher organizations, the TV Tool Kits contain a 30-minute video, instructional materials for teachers and a guide for parents. Suggestions include ways to combine TV shows with family activities, advice to help children learn the difference between advertising and programming, and ways to examine portrayals of violence, women and minorities. Continental, which serves 650 communities in seven states, including California, says it is also talking to other cable companies about distributing the kits to their communities.
* ‘The Critic’ Lives: Despite its low ratings as a midseason entry on ABC, “The Critic"--an animated series featuring the voice of Jon Lovitz as an unlovable film reviewer--has been picked up for next season by Fox. Creators Mike Reiss and Al Jean formerly worked on Fox’s hit “The Simpsons.”
Triple Honors: Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu has won the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, which carries a $150,000 prize, for his work “Fantasma/Cantos.” The work was commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra, which premiered it in 1991. . . . Barcelona-born pianist Alicia de Larrocha was awarded one of Spain’s eight annual Prince of Asturias prizes Friday for her work in the arts. The awards, considered the Hispanic world’s most prestigious prizes, include a payment of 5 million pesetas ($36,000) and a sculpture by Spanish artist Joan Miro. . . . And here at home, USC music professor Donald Crockett, composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, was selected by the American Academy of Arts and Letters to receive a $12,500 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship.
Record-Breaker: A 15th-Century Korean porcelain dish has sold at auction for a record $3.08 million, nearly 10 times the price estimated by experts, Christie’s said Thursday. The blue and white bowl, sold Wednesday evening, set a record for a Korean artwork and for any piece of porcelain. Expected to bring $300,000 to $400,000, the dish was one of three known to exist and was considered one of the most important Korean works ever to go up for auction.
Pop Star’s Family Attacked: Swedish pop star Jenny Berggren, a singer with the rock band Ace of Base, was unharmed after an attack at her home in Sweden, allegedly by a knife-wielding woman. Berggren, whose group’s songs “The Sign” and “Happy Nation” have been No. 1 hits around the world this year, told Swedish Television Thursday evening that the 21-year-old had been camped outside Berggren’s family’s home in Gothenburg in western Sweden for two days before breaking in early Wednesday morning. Berggren’s mother received stab wounds to her hand before the family overcame the attacker, who was due to appear in court Friday charged with assault.
Academy Award-winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins is set to make his directing debut with Granada Film’s “Scenes From Country Life.” Hopkins will also star as Vanya in the film, which is based on Anton Chekhov’s classic play “Uncle Vanya.” . . . Rocker John Mellencamp’s first son, Hud J. Mellencamp, was born Wednesday night to Mellencamp, 42, and wife, model Elaine Irwin. Mellencamp has three daughters from previous marriages and one granddaughter. . . . The Rolling Stones have scheduled a press conference Tuesday at a New York City pier to announce details of their upcoming album and concert tour.