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VALLEY NEWSWATCH / A SPECIAL REPORT: VALLEY MADE

February 19, 1996|Lisa Leff

MAKE IT: GM cars, Keebler cookies, Stroh's beer, the U-2 spy plane . . . the Valley once produced them all. But plenty of other well-known products still are made here, including Price Pfister faucets, Easton sporting goods, St. Ives shampoo, JBL speakers, Budweiser beer and Panavision movie cameras.

MAKE-UP: Lingerie maker Olga Co., based in Van Nuys, actually has its bras and slips sewn together in Ventura County and Mexico. . . . The garments are partly manufactured locally, however; the fabric for padded bras, for instance, is cut and "molded" at company headquarters before it is sent out for assembly.

MAKE SPORT: Every day, Easton Aluminum's Van Nuys plant (above) churns out 10,000 baseball and softball bats and 5,000 hockey sticks, including the ones used by Los Angeles Kings star Wayne Gretsky and one-third of National Hockey League players. . . . The 74-year-old company recently branched out into making aluminum drumsticks. "For the hard-core rock and rollers, they are more durable," said spokeswoman Carrie Jarrell.

MAKE GOOD: Watch an old movie and the last thing on the screen is often the words "Filmed in Panavision," a reference to the wide-screen format developed by the Tarzana-based maker of motion picture cameras and lenses. Panavision has won two technical Oscars for its role in movie history. . . . "That happened here in the San Fernando Valley," said Frank Kay, the company's director of creative services.

MAKE BELIEVE: Despite the decline of aerospace, high-tech manufacturing is the Valley's second-biggest employer. Much of the recent growth has come in specialty medical firms like Sylmar pacemaker maker Pacesetter Systems and Precision Dynamics, a supplier of hospital ID bands. . . . Replacing aerospace as the top job-generating engine is entertainment. "The biggest thing the Valley makes is movies," said John Rooney of the Valley Economic Development Council.

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