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FLICKS: FILM AND VIDEO NOTES : Theater Review : The U.A. Thousand Oaks has beefy hot dogs, good popcorn and clean--but green--restrooms.

September 06, 1990|LEO SMITH

Here it is, the third in a series of reviews of Ventura County movie theaters. This time we visited the five-screeA. Thousand Oaks in the Oaks Mall.

Food: Not bad at all. The hot dog tasted like a top-flight ballpark dog. It's all beef and not too salty. On the down side, the bun seemed stale.

Popcorn: Good. Actually tasted like popcorn. It's the kind of popcorn that you find yourself munching on long after you think you've had enough. A lot of butter, but it turned out to be pretty well-dispersed. Caution: A small popcorn is pretty large--at $2.50, it should be.

Restroom: Large, clean and green. Yes, it's truly frog-colored, from the floor to the walls to the deodorizing liquid they use. Plenty of mirrors--two full-length and three smaller. Evidently the teens want to look goooooood. Nice fake wood paneling on the stall doors.

Pre-movie entertainment: No music, just the sound of the concession stand cash register.

Pre-movie ads: Two.

Previews: Four.

Line of the Day: "Oh my God . . . I'm so grossed"--a teen-age girl's response to a teen-age boy's story about drinking beer.

Olivas Adobe's recent silent film night, featuring Rudolph Valentino's "The Sheik," attracted an audience of about 140, twice the number that had been anticipated.

Adobe historian Richard Senate said that because of the success, a silent film series featuring "The Mark of Zorro" and "The Shriek of Arabi" is being planned next summer. "Shriek" is a short parody of "The Sheik" and, as for the original, the sand dune scenes were filmed in Oxnard.

Speaking of "The Sheik," the National Park Service will conclude its summer series of silent movies Sept. 15 and 16 with presentations of the sequel, "Son of the Sheik." It was Valentino's last film before he died at 31 from complications from appendicitis surgery. The film will be shown both days at the Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6. Call (213) 874-2276 or (818) 597-9192.

The big-budget sequel was not filmed in Oxnard, the producers opting for the larger dunes of the Mojave Desert, Senate said.

How does Senate know so much about the movie world? It helps that his father and grandfather worked at MGM--his father as a painter (one of many, he said, who worked on "The Wizard of Oz" sets) and his grandfather as a carpenter. "We like to say the family built MGM Studios, which literally my grandfather did," he said.

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