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REEL LIFE / FILM & VIDEO FILE : Picking Movies Can Be a Trying Workout : Card catalogues like those used in libraries may be a solution for crowded shops, but the cover art is how many people decide the one they will rent, store owner says.

January 13, 1994|PANCHO DOLL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ever feel like your spinal health limits the videos you watch?

With so many titles crammed into small stores, retailers are forced to use all the space on their display racks, right down to the floor. That means simply picking out a film involves any combination of squats, toe touches and lunges.

Duke Bradbury of Giant Video in Santa Paula is one store owner who feels space restraints acutely.

"With 4,000 square feet of area and 13,000 movies, we're stuffed to the gills," Bradbury said. "But we haven't had any complaints."

One alternative to video crowding is card catalogues like libraries have, but Bradbury said the cover art is how many people pick the video they are going to take home. So unless commercial rental rates decline and floor space expands, you're still going to have to wear exercise clothes to read all the titles.

Brian Jones of Simi Valley takes the practical approach. Said the 220-pound chain smoker: "Picking out movies is about the only exercise I get. That and coughing."

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Production crews for the "Indiana Jones Chronicles" are in Fillmore and are expected to begin filming the made-for-TV movie shortly.

John McKinnon of the city's film commission said the picture will be set in the 1920s, which is why Fillmore was chosen.

"Part of the challenge was looking for buildings and offices that haven't been modified," McKinnon said. "The offices at the lemon packinghouse by the railroad tracks on A Street will be part of it. Those interiors haven't been altered in 70 years. It's very difficult to find interiors that have been well-maintained for that long."

Other sites to be filmed include the Masonic Hall on Central Avenue, Fields Aircraft Spares (originally the Fillmore-Piru orange packinghouse), the exterior of Fillmore High School and the school administration building.

The producers have already employed 10 to 15 local residents in administrative jobs. McKinnon said they will also be casting extras, a job that pays $50 a day plus lunch.

Officials with the production are reluctant to disclose how much they will contribute to the local economy because they are still in negotiations with the owners of several venues for the rights to film there.

A smaller production last year in Piru added $40,000 to local coffers after spending less than half the time that "Indiana Jones" has scheduled for filming.

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A pair of middle school teachers are miffed at Jim Salzer, the owner of Salzer's Video, for displaying mature videos on the main floor of his store.

In a letter to The Times, Jerry and Sharon Mittelholtz said they were shocked late last year when they found titles like "Becoming Orgasmic," "Best Chest in the West," and "Ultimate Kiss--A Sensual Guide to Oral Lovemaking," on general display.

They asked Salzer to move the offending titles to the adult section where minors are not allowed.

He refused, saying he isn't going to make people who have an interest in improving their sexuality go to the pornography section of his store. Video stores, he countered, are being picked on by the traditional-values crowd.

"It's censorship. If you look at magazines like Cosmopolitan and Mademoiselle, they have the same sort of stories on their covers and they are right there in the supermarket checkout aisle."

Pancho Doll compiles Reel Life each week for Ventura County Life. If you have information on local film, television or video events or personalities write to him at 5200 Valentine Road, Suite 140, Ventura, 93003 or send faxes to 658-5576.

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