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American International Pictures

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ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2001 | SUSAN KING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
American International Pictures' motto was, "Make 'em fast and make 'em cheap." Really cheap. Samuel Z. Arkoff, who founded the scrappy little studio with the late Jim Nicholson, recalls the time producer-director Roger Corman was given a mere $29,000 to make the 1955 horror flick "The Beast With a Million Eyes." "Roger said, 'I can't do it [for that budget],' " recalls Arkoff, now 83. "I said, 'Roger, you can do it.' So he went off to Palm Springs to make the movie."
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2001 | SUSAN KING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
American International Pictures' motto was, "Make 'em fast and make 'em cheap." Really cheap. Samuel Z. Arkoff, who founded the scrappy little studio with the late Jim Nicholson, recalls the time producer-director Roger Corman was given a mere $29,000 to make the 1955 horror flick "The Beast With a Million Eyes." "Roger said, 'I can't do it [for that budget],' " recalls Arkoff, now 83. "I said, 'Roger, you can do it.' So he went off to Palm Springs to make the movie."
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 1993
Regarding "Bypassing the Big Picture," by Michele Willens (Nov. 28): In your article on direct-to-video movies, the technique that Charles Band boasts about for deciding which films to make was in fact pioneered by one of the three greatest film executives of the latter half of the 20th Century, the late James H. Nicholson, co-founder of American International Pictures. (The others are Nicholson's partner Samuel Z. Arkoff and Roger Corman.) In the mid- to late '50s, AIP established very close ties with the owners of independent theater chains in the South, Midwest and Southwest, who had a much better understanding of the tastes of their audiences than exhibitors based in New York or today's ivory-towered types.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 4, 1994 | PETER RAINER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Anybody who thinks all movies should be deep-think masterpieces by visionary auteurs probably won't be camping out at the Nuart Theatre for its ongoing American International Pictures festival. Max von Sydow won't be playing chess with Death there. But other games--less taxing perhaps--are being played. Beach blanket bingo, for example. And Death is certainly not being overlooked.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 4, 1994 | PETER RAINER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Anybody who thinks all movies should be deep-think masterpieces by visionary auteurs probably won't be camping out at the Nuart Theatre for its ongoing American International Pictures festival. Max von Sydow won't be playing chess with Death there. But other games--less taxing perhaps--are being played. Beach blanket bingo, for example. And Death is certainly not being overlooked.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 19, 1989 | Claudia Puig, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films will present Samuel Z. Arkoff the Golden Scroll Award on Saturday. The honor is for "outstanding career achievements" in recognition of the 503 features American International Pictures (AIP) produced and/or released. Arkoff was the co-founder of AIP and today is chairman of Arkoff International Pictures.
NEWS
December 9, 1997
Al Simms, 86, entertainment industry executive for 60 years. Born Al Ciminelli in Rochester, N.Y., as one of 17 children of Italian immigrants, Simms began his career as manager of the nationally broadcast "Horace Heidt Youth Opportunity Show." He later worked with singer Frankie Laine. For 28 years, Simms was associated with American International Pictures, working as director of the music department, head of personnel, general manager and assistant to the president.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 7, 1986
The American International Film Festival, a seven evening tribute to American International Pictures, will open Saturday at USC's Norris Cinema Theater with two controversial Roger Corman films, "The Wild Angels," starring Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra, and "The Trip," an LSD fantasy written by Jack Nicholson.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Burt Topper, 78, who made such low-budget films as "Diary of a High School Bride" and "War Is Hell," died Tuesday of pulmonary failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said his wife, Jennifer. Starting in the late 1950s, Topper wrote, directed and produced films for Sam Arkoff's American International Pictures, which was known for making movies aimed at a teen audience.
NEWS
October 29, 1996 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Morey Amsterdam, a veteran comedian and character actor who was best remembered for his role as Maurice "Buddy" Sorell on the long-running "Dick Van Dyke Show," died Monday. He was 87. Amsterdam suffered a heart attack at his home and was later pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The comic was a seasoned veteran of vaudeville, radio and early television when he was cast with Dick Van Dyke as Rob Petrie and Rose Marie as Sally Rogers on the show that ran from 1961 to 1966.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 1993
Regarding "Bypassing the Big Picture," by Michele Willens (Nov. 28): In your article on direct-to-video movies, the technique that Charles Band boasts about for deciding which films to make was in fact pioneered by one of the three greatest film executives of the latter half of the 20th Century, the late James H. Nicholson, co-founder of American International Pictures. (The others are Nicholson's partner Samuel Z. Arkoff and Roger Corman.) In the mid- to late '50s, AIP established very close ties with the owners of independent theater chains in the South, Midwest and Southwest, who had a much better understanding of the tastes of their audiences than exhibitors based in New York or today's ivory-towered types.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 15, 2013 | By Susan King
Tom Laughlin, who came to fame as the half-Native American, half-white ex-Green Beret in the 1971 indie blockbuster "Billy Jack," died Thursday at age  82. A lot of his films are on DVD and on streaming services.  If you want to go back to his earliest films, check out "The Delinquents" (1957) -- which was directed by Robert Altman -- "South Pacific" (1958) and even "Gidget" (1959). And for those who want to revisit his best-known films, or perhaps see them for the first time, here are five: PHOTOS: Tom Laughlin, filmmaker who drew huge following for 'Billy Jack,' dies "The Born Losers": Laughlin first introduced Billy Jack in this low-budget 1967 biker film, which American International Pictures released in 1968.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 30, 1987 | KEVIN THOMAS
Only two days after the Cock 'n Bull announced its closing after half a century, its neighbor, the Nosseck Theater, announced that it would close Monday. It's the small screening room tucked away in the basement of the David Geffen Building at the corner of Sunset and Carol. It's unknown to the general public, but it was almost as much a Hollywood landmark as the restaurant. In its early days, Garbo and Chaplin were regulars and Howard Hughes once holed up there for three solid months.
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