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REEL LIFE / FILM & VIDEO FILE : Fillmore's Role in New Movie Is Quake Casualty : Buildings are damaged in the city, which has a nostalgic, small-town look that has attracted filmmakers.

January 27, 1994|PANCHO DOLL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Filming for the "The Indiana Jones Chronicles" was slated to start in front of the Fillmore Masonic Lodge just hours before the Northridge quake toppled part of the building and damaged much of Fillmore's historic downtown district.

"It's ironic," said John McKinnon of the city's film commission. "They had been working for six weeks getting stuff ready and this happened."

The destruction along Central Avenue, where about one-fifth of the filming takes place, could threaten an important source of income for the city. But McKinnon is optimistic.

"We're not going to use Central Avenue as often as we used to," McKinnon said, "but after reconstruction, we might be able to get an even more uniform look. The bottom line is that Fillmore will come back and we will be planning films."

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"Earthquake" was one of the more popular rental titles last week. Call it a counter-phobic coping technique or whatever, but people, at least those who had electricity, were hot to recreate seismic disaster on the small screen.

Mike Williams, manager of Video 4 You in Thousand Oaks, said circulation on other titles has picked up due to the quake.

"The Great Los Angeles Earthquake" has been out every day this week," he said. "That was a television movie released on video in 1992."

If you like something more timeless than a 1974 disaster flick in Sensurround or a made-for-TV movie, you might consider "San Francisco," a 1936 Clark Gable film set against the backdrop of the 1906 San Francisco quake.

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What follows is a partial resume for the group Wake-Up America, an East County organization dedicated to educating people on issues affecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Pro: John Birch Society.

Against: United Nations.

Pro: Life.

Against: Laws that would require labels on nutritional supplements.

Pro: William K. Dannemeyer, arch conservative from Fullerton.

Against: The theory of evolution.

This last stand is what lands the Wake-Up crowd in a film column. The group is sponsoring a video presentation titled "Ape-Man: Monkey Business Falsely Called Science," screening 7:30 Friday at the East Valley Sheriff's Station, 2101 Olsen Road in Thousand Oaks.

"We're not necessarily creationists," said Clare Kaldawi, chairperson of the 30-member group. "We just want to present ideas that people don't normally hear."

The video, produced by the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego County, takes aim at 136 years of evolution theory. If the film can refute carbon dating, fossil records and chromosome comparisons, Wake-Up America might want to consider another title, "The Great Escape."

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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