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THE ALTERNATIVES | 15 MINUTES WITH ...

Robert Keith

November 27, 2003|Carolyn Patricia Scott

In early November as Christmas decorations arrive on the scene, Keith shows up at Universal CityWalk, where he runs the holiday ice rink.

Living rinkside: For the ice skating season, I live in a trailer next to the rink, which is near the Hard Rock Cafe. People can skate an hour or all day. We've got skate rentals and lockers nearby if people need them, but really all they have to do is come out. They built the custom-made rink into the original walk, so that all we have to do is add water.

The icing: I get about 600 skaters a day and it never gets boring. One couple met on the ice in 2000 and two years later there were 160 people on the ice to see the would-be-groom surprise his intended with a ring. I said "May I have your attention ... ," over the mike. And the guy got on his knees right there on the ice and proposed. The place just erupted! She cried ... it was beautiful.

Celebs on ice: Film companies hold wrap parties at the rink and the crowds come to ogle. We get a lot of celebrities here; I've seen David Boreanz, Alan Thicke, former hockey player Jim Fox and others. Ed Asner and his wife always come up with their grandkids.

The green room: I've fixed up a little side where celebrities can relax. Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner were the first pair of skaters to use my "green room" area. But we don't just look out for bigwigs. We keep the ice pristine and if there's the slightest problem we give people their money back or a pass to return.

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Universal CityWalk Ice Rink, opens Friday. Mon.-Thu., 4-11 p.m.; Fri., 4 p.m.-1 a.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.- 1 a.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-11 p.m. $6.50-$7.50; skate rental, $2.50. www.citywalkhollywood.com.

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