Everything about Universal Studios CityWalk is big-big-big. The shopper-tainment mecca, adjacent to the Universal Studios theme park, opens a new, multi-level addition today. The 93,000-square-foot area was designed by architect Jon Jerde, who created the original 300,000-square-foot CityWalk, to include more retail and dining, plus a new 3-D Imax movie theater. "T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous" will debut at the Imax on Friday. Dining options are much expanded, with sit-down spots such as the Italian family restaurant Buca di Beppo and the new Bohemian-themed Cafe Tu Tu Tango (which purports to have "Polynesian fire-breathing belly dancers"). Fast-food versions of popular L.A. restaurants also abound, such as Versailles, Jerry's Famous Deli and Tommy's Hamburgers. And, finally, there's just more to do: a rock 'n' roll bowling alley, a Latin music dance club, a dueling piano bar and a microbrewery have all been added to Jerde's over-the-top urban fantasy.
* Universal Studios CityWalk, off the Hollywood (101) Freeway at Universal Center Drive or Lankershim Boulevard, Universal City. (818) 622-4455.
7:30 pm: Movies
The Los Angeles Independent Film Festival kicks off this evening with the world premiere screening of actor Joe Mantegna's directorial debut, "Lakeboat," a David Mamet-scripted coming-of-age tale about a college student who takes a job on a Great Lakes shipping freighter. "Lakeboat" stars Tony Mamet as the student and veteran actors Charles Durning, Peter Falk and Robert Forster as members of the freighter crew. (Actor Tony Mamet is David Mamet's younger brother; a third brother, Bob, composed the film's score.) The premiere will be followed by a party at the club Vynyl. The LAIFF, which spotlights films by new North American directors, runs today through April 18 and will feature 35 feature films and 45 short subjects.
* Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, Directors Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.Harmony Gold Theater, 7655 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Vynyl, 1650 N. Schrader Blvd., Hollywood. Tonight, "Lakeboat" at the DGA, 7:30 p.m. with after-party at Vynyl, $50. Festival ends April 18. See special screenings list for full schedule. $8.50. Festival passes are also available for $125 to $500. (888) ETM-TIXS.
8 pm: Dance
Decisions, decisions: Whether to consider dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones primarily an inimitable solo artist and, therefore, attend "The Breathing Show" on Thursday to see him dance to Schubert and Beethoven. Or, instead, to remember his newsmaking dance-theater spectacles such as "Still/Here" and "Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin . . ." and, therefore, attend Friday or Saturday to watch the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in the West Coast premiere of "You Walk?" Although Jones doesn't perform in this full-evening African diaspora epic, he will appear at 7 each night for a pre-performance talk. And he can be as inimitable a speaker as a dancer.
* Bill T. Jones, "The Breathing Show," Royce Hall, UCLA campus, Westwood. 8 p.m. today. $13 (students) to $40. Also the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in "You Walk?," Royce Hall, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $13 (students) to $45. (310) 825-2101.
FREEBIE: The Media Ecology Super Sessions presents a discussion with Mark Fenster, author of "Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture," at Midnight Special Bookstore, 1318 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. (310) 393-2923.