Organizers trying save the historic Towne Theatre in Fillmore are pinning their hopes on a sweaty shirt.
Part of their hopes, anyway. The shirt, worn by Keanu Reeves in the hit movie "Speed," will be one of 60 or so items to be auctioned April 1 in an effort to equip and furnish the 79-year-old theater.
The city of Fillmore purchased the building after it was damaged in the Northridge earthquake. Officials pledged to repair the collapsed back wall, caved-in roof and cracked facade. California's Office of Historic Preservation gave the city a $475,000 grant to restore the building's structural integrity, but the city still needs about $500,000 for a screen, projector, sound system and furnishings. Organizer Lori Hofferber wouldn't speculate about the value of the shirt or other items being offered, such as a script from the movie "Cobb" autographed by Tommy Lee Jones, and videos of "Basic Instinct" and "Romancing the Stone" autographed by Michael Douglas.
"It depends on if the audience is in a charitable mood or looking for a bargain," she said.
So far the group called Save the Towne Theatre has raised $25,000 through bake sales, T-shirt sales and donations from individuals. Actor Kirk Douglas gave $5,000, Hofferber said.
Generous as that might seem, it's a drop in the bucket, considering that the 400 new seats for the theater will cost a whopping $80,000. Think of that next time you stick your gum to the bottom of the chair.
The auctioneer for the event will be actor Thomas Haden-Church from the television sitcom "Wings." The auction will be held from noon to 4 p.m. in front of the theater, 338 Central Ave. in Fillmore. For more information call 524-3478, 524-2757 or 524-5985.
If you're annoyed by the perky voices that dominate recorded movie listings and you have an aversion to newspapers, there's now a third option.
A computer bulletin board in Camarillo is posting listings for nine local theaters. "Beyond The Realm," a fast-growing bulletin board that's attracted national attention, offers them to its 1,500 subscribers as part of an expanded news and information service.
System operator Lee Ladisky, whose endeavor has grown from two telephone lines to 16 in just one year, said he updates the listings weekly.
If you have a computer and a modem, dial 987-5506 from Camarillo or 642-5936 from Ventura. Set your software to VT-100 emulation, no parity, eight data bits and one stop bit.
Oh, and Ladisky's source for the movie listings: He gets them from the newspaper.
A special restored version of Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Conformist," including a five-minute sequence never seen in the United States, comes to the New Vic in Santa Barbara on Monday.
Generally considered one of the best early works from the director of "The Last Emperor," "Little Buddha" and "Last Tango in Paris," the tense 1970 film was harshly critical of fascism in Italy in 1930.
Jean-Louis Trintignant plays Marcello, a narcissist who tries to repress homoerotic interests in part through being accepted by the Fascist regime. The character, who wants only to "build a life that is normal," will do anything to win acceptance, including helping plan the assassination of his mentor and the mentor's wife.
Vittorio Storaro, the cinematographer responsible for the film's acclaimed baroque images, also supervised the restoration. Those who've seen the restored director's cut say the colors are much crisper than in the original.
"The Conformist" will be shown by the folks at "New Vic," which resides at the Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. in Santa Barbara. Call 963-0761 or 563-1438 for information.