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Rebellious LA Weekly Turns a Mature 20

November 25, 1998|IRENE LACHER

One more year to go and LA Weekly will be old enough to drink. Not to worry. The alternative paper's staff and pals' cups already runneth over, or at least they did at the Weekly's recent 20th anniversary bash at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum.

Yes, we did say the Hollywood Entertainment Museum.

"It's tacky. There are little tchotchkes but no big vision here that I can see," harrumphed Don Hazen, executive director of the Independent Media Institute, a watchdog organization based in San Francisco. "I still like the LA Weekly though."

So do we. We especially liked the scrappy paper's surprising display of gold-standard hors d'oeuvres, which circulated among the crowd of 1,000-plus thanks to actual waiters. No one could accuse the Weekly of being anything but progressive in the snack department.

There have been other signs of maturity. "We're certainly more responsible," says Weekly editor Sue Horton. "I'm not sure that was really the point in the beginning when there was more of an in-your-face attitude at the paper. You lose something when you step away from that, but you also gain something, which is credibility."

Which may account for the Weekly's current peak circulation--220,000, despite these out-of-your-face times. There certainly was a surge of outspoken humanity in Hollywood that evening, among them L.A. city Councilman Joel Wachs, Bill Maher, Arianna Huffington, state Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles), Exene Cervenkova, Crispin Glover, Susan Faludi, Robbie Conal and Gloria Allred.

"I think of [the Weekly] as vibrant," Allred says. "There is a substantial progressive movement in this city and I think it captures it."

*

Architectural Digest's December issue peeks into the boudoir of the former Frank Sinatra manse in Palm Springs at the end of Frank Sinatra Drive. That was the only room to survive Barbara Sinatra's merciful campaign to purge the house of the late crooner's unseemly love affair with the color orange.

The headboard of Frank's double bed was orange and white. Nearby were his oeuvres, a couple of sad clown self-portraits and an abstract in brown and you-guessed-it. Barbara's designer, Bea Korshak, managed to change some colors to peach, "but I couldn't quite get the orange out of him," Korshak told AD.

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