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CHOC: Hooray for Tinseltown

Into the Night / ORANGE COUNTY

November 13, 1998|ANN CONWAY

The scene: The "star"-studded benefit opening Wednesday of Tinseltown Studios, a $15-million dinner theater in Anaheim. More than 500 guests attended The Envelope, Please, a black-tie gala chaired by Margo Chamberlin that netted more than $125,000 for Children's Hospital of Orange County.

The star treatment: In the style of a night at the Academy Awards, arriving guests--many swaddled in fur--swept down a red carpet as hired fans screamed their names and begged for autographs. Several of the "stars" were interviewed on film about their latest flicks. "My, Orange County has never seen anything quite like this," observed guest Catherine Thyen.

Scene two: Inside the entertainment complex, gala-goers were invited to pose for souvenir photographs holding an Oggie--the Oscar-like statuette that would be handed out during dinner to a best actor and actress.

During the champagne reception, guests buzzed about Tinseltown, a dream of former Disneyland President Jack Lindquist: "This is delightful--I'm star-struck!" said Arden Flamson.

Said Lindquist: "This is a dream that was six years in the making. And what could be better than kicking it off with a premiere for CHOC?"

Be a star!: Weeks before the event, supporters of CHOC were given the opportunity to star in one of eight film clips shown at the theater. For a $12,500 donation, they could appear with Richard Burton in "Anne of the Thousand Days," for example, or Kathy Bates in "Fried Green Tomatoes." (Ogden Entertainment, owners of Tinseltown, has secured excerpts from each of the films.) Stars are dressed for the part, given lines and filmed; their performances are spliced into the movie.

Up for best actress Wednesday: Donna Crean for "Fried Green Tomatoes"; Kelly Roberts, "Anne of the Thousand Days"; Kimberly LeBoeuf, "The Blues Brothers"; and Priscilla "Bo" Moore, "On Golden Pond."

Best actor nominees were: Antonio Cagnolo, "Somewhere in Time"; John Crean, "Jaws"; James Doti, "Animal House"; and John Herklotz, "Field of Dreams."

And the winners: Doti and Moore. Deadpanned Moore: "I didn't expect to win, so I didn't prepare a speech . . . but I do want to thank my producers, directors and my physical trainers . . . . "

Quipped Doti: "You like me! You really like me!"

Orange County's own: During the three-hour show, Academy Award-winning actress Claire Trevor Bren (who won in 1948 for her supporting role in "Key Largo,") was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Ogden Entertainment. "She is Orange County's very own, No. 1 film actress," Lindquist told the crowd.

Dressed in a flowing black chiffon gown--she wore a blue-and-white strapless number by Irene in 1948, she confided during dinner--Bren, of Newport Beach, said she was grateful for the recognition.

"Thank you, thank you," she said. "If one lives long enough, one gets lots of kudos. . . . I've been around quite awhile . . . and I've had my sieges of deep pain, but, mostly, it's been very wonderful and exhilarating. I've been very lucky to know and work with the truly greats of Hollywood--excuse me, I mean Tinseltown. It's wonderful to be here."

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