The Academy Award statuette that Orson Welles won for the original screenplay of "Citizen Kane" was auctioned for more than $861,000 in Los Angeles.
The 1942 Oscar was thought to be lost for decades. It surfaced in 1994 when cinematographer Gary Graver tried to sell it. The sale was stopped by Beatrice Welles, Orson's youngest daughter and sole heir.
Welles, who wrote the screenplay for "Citizen Kane" with Herman Mankiewicz, also directed and starred in the film, considered by most critics to be one of the best of all time.
Nate D. Sanders Auctions declined to release the name of the winning bidder.
Michael Jackson paid $1.54 million in 1999 for the best picture Oscar awarded to David O. Selznick for "Gone With the Wind."
Bowl restrooms to be renovated
The restrooms at the Hollywood Bowl will be getting a $3-million face-lift for the 2012 season thanks to a measure approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
The project consists of the renovation of 11 existing restrooms at the Bowl complex, including those at the adjacent Highland Camrose Park, according to a letter sent to the board by the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Rios Clementi Hale Studios, an L.A. design firm, will undertake the renovation during the Bowl's off-season, according to the website of County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
The proposed new design features waterless urinals and quick Dyson hand dryers, according to Yaroslavsky's site. Improved lighting will also be part of the refurbishment.
Julie Smith-Clementi, who is leading the project, said that they hope to begin work within the next couple of months and finish by the start of the 2012 Bowl season.
Douglas' son gets 91/2 years
A judge called the imprisoned son of actor Michael Douglas reckless and irresponsible as he nearly doubled his prison sentence Wednesday from five years to 91/2 years for repeated drug offenses.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan cited Cameron Douglas' "history of reckless behavior" as he imposed a new punishment that was more than double what prosecutors were seeking for Douglas' guilty plea to drug charges that arose from his successful efforts to smuggle drugs into prison.
Berman added 41/2 years to the five-year term he gave Douglas last year for his guilty plea in connection with his sales of methamphetamine in July 2009 from a high-end Manhattan hotel.
The judge said he had never had a case before in which a defendant "has so recklessly, wantonly, flagrantly and criminally acted in such a destructive and manipulative fashion as Cameron Douglas has."
Vatican hesitant to limit visitors
The Vatican is determined to avoid limiting the number of visitors to the Sistine Chapel with its Michelangelo frescoes, despite harmful buildup of dust and other pollutants, the director of the Vatican Museums said Wednesday.
"We will try to keep it open" without putting a limit on the growing number of visitors to the chapel, "in the conviction that it is possible to do so without risk to the paintings," Antonio Paolucci wrote in the Holy See's daily newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
Paolucci, who also is one of Italy's most renowned art restoration experts, said the Vatican was working to give the chapel where popes are elected an "updated and efficient air conditioning system able to ensure the refreshing of the air and the combating of pollutants in both solid and gas forms."
Some 4 million people visit the Museums annually, with the chapel the highlight — or even the sole aim of the visit — for countless numbers of them. Ticket sales are a big moneymaker for the Vatican.
Free meals at Laugh Factory
The Laugh Factory in Hollywood will again throw open its doors on Christmas for free food and entertainment, including appearances by Dane Cook, Kevin Nealon, Arsenio Hall and Paul Rodriguez.
"Spending the holidays alone is no laughing matter, especially in today's economy," said club owner Jamie Masada.
The club, at 8001 Sunset Blvd., will serve meals at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. Sunday.
—From a Times staff writer
For the blind: NBC's telecast of "It's a Wonderful Life" at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve will include an optional audio track on which former President George H.W. Bush narrates the action for members of the audience who are blind or visually impaired.
Super Bowl: Patti LaBelle, Bret Michaels and En Vogue are among the artists who will perform in free concerts during the week leading up to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. Madonna will perform during halftime.