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REEL LIFE / FILM & VIDEO FILE : Camarillo: The Cinematic Capital of Ventura County : City Council OKs 11-screen theater complex, which will join two already approved projects. But are local residents such cinephiles?


Camarillo is poised to become the cinematic center of Ventura County after the City Council approved a 2,629-seat movie theater complex last week. The decision comes after two other mega-movie houses won earlier approval.

United Artists, the most recent winner in the Camarillo theater derby, plans to build an 11-screen movie house on the city's east side. Mann Theaters and Edwards Theaters both got the approval to build 12-screen theaters in the past 10 months.

If construction of all three proceeds, Camarillo would have far and away the highest proportion of theater space in the county--one seat for every six residents.

Are Camarillo residents such cinephiles?

Probably not.

"I'm sure the marketing studies that prompted these three to locate here anticipated that they would draw from all over Ventura County," Camarillo City Manager Bill Little said.

According to Little, construction now depends on financing and, as far as he knows, at least two of the companies have the money to break ground.


This is koala week in Ventura County as two screens feature films made Down Under.

The Ojai Film Society is showing "The Last Days of Chez Nous," an Australian film directed by Gillian Armstrong ("My Brilliant Career"), about a successful writer whose family life has begun to crumble around her.

The story is set in a sprawling house in Sydney, where the writer, Beth, lives with her husband, her teen-age daughter and a young male boarder.

When Beth's high-spirited sister, Vicki, played by Kerry Fox ("An Angel at My Table"), who has been living abroad, arrives for a visit after the breakup of a tempestuous love affair, the tensions and passions that have been brewing within the family are finally unleashed.

The film screens at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Ojai Playhouse, 145 E. Ojai Ave. Admission is $6.


To continue this week's Australian theme, here is the second installment in the Down Under weekend. The adventure film series at the Oxnard Civic Auditorium is featuring "Amazing Australia."

Billed as a "look at the rugged character of the Aussie people," the picture by documentarian Grant Foster visits the Sydney harbor and other notable spots.

The movie will be shown at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The auditorium is at 800 Hobson Way. Admission is $6.50.

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 fax 658-5576.

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