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There Was No Robbin' Fans of a Bat Time


The Scene: Holy gridlock, Batman! There was a huge chunk of Westwood Village blocked off late last Friday afternoon. Precisely, Robin. It was the jam-packed world premiere of "Batman Forever," with Val Kilmer starring in his first stint as Gotham City's caped crusader. Clogging Westwood's arteries were rows of bleachers filled with hundreds of camera-toting, Bat-crazed fans. Screenings took place at both the Mann's Village and the Mann's Bruin theaters. Afterward, guests took a short walk to the reception held at the Armand Hammer Museum and Cultural Center, guided by the light of Bat signals.

Who Was There: Who wasn't? (Well, actually, producer Tim Burton was a conspicuous no-show.) More than 1,000 guests jammed the two theaters and the museum, including director Joel Schumacher, cast members Kilmer, Nicole Kidman (with Tom Cruise), Chris O'Donnell, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Drew Barrymore (with Erik Erlandson) and Debi Mazar. Other familiar faces were Dean Cain, George Clooney, Cindy Crawford, Geena Davis, Anthony Edwards, David Hasselhoff, John Singleton, Faye Dunaway, Lauren Holly, Rosie O'Donnell, Steven Seagal, Wesley Snipes and Aaron, Candy and Tori Spelling.

Dress Code: It seemed the good guys all wore black. Adding a further noir touch to what was already a predominantly black-tie event was the sea of fans in black "Batman Forever" T-shirts.

Bat Chow: With the fine art safely tucked away, the guests grazed buffets scattered throughout what appeared to be a neon-charged exhibition hall of Gotham kitsch. The pasta tables offered such light fare as penne with tomato and basil and endive salad, while more super-hero appetites were catered to at tables offering beef tenderloin, broiled chicken and mashed potatoes. There were also dessert and beverage buffets, not to mention waiters dressed as multicolored henchmen who cruised the hall with various hors d'oeuvres.

Pastimes: The band, LA Heat, entertained with '70s funk music and a row of Batman pinball machines beckoned those with a taste for something more interactive.

The Zen of Bat Acting: "I wish I had an interesting answer for you," replied an interview-weary Kilmer when asked for his acting secrets. "But it was really show up and get dressed. When your foyer is 480 feet wide, it's kind of easy to make-believe."

Super-Hero Peer Review: "I envy Val Kilmer all the way," remarked TV's Superman, Dean Cain. "I think he's got a better costume, better gadgets, better special effects and he makes a heck of a lot more money than I do."

The Bat Analysis: "What this movie has is a real sense of humor and also a real sexuality. I think that's what people are looking for in Batman," said Barrymore, who plays the moll of one of villain Harvey Two-Face's two faces.

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