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Company Towns

December 28, 1988 | CHARLES HILLINGER, Times Staff Writer
This town is gradually fading away. Every time a family moves out, the oil company that owns all the land here buys the vacated home and has it demolished, clearing the way for drilling into the deposit of oil beneath Fellows. The Santa Fe Energy Co. is a benign landlord, by most accounts. The company has never forced anyone out of town. It owns one-year leases on all the houses, and no one who has wanted to renew one has ever been refused.
September 1, 2011 | By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
The company town is dead. Long live the company town. Scotia, California's last company town, has voted to become independent, according to preliminary election results released Wednesday. With 147 ballots cast — less than half of the eligible voters — 136 were to make the town an independent community services district, essentially severing the town from the New York hedge fund that owns it. Also in Tuesday's balloting, voters elected a town governing board of five people.
January 7, 1992 | MICHAEL HARRIS, Harris is a Times suburban editor
The dead trout were long gone when I visited my hometown, Dunsmuir, for the first time since the July 14 chemical spill into the Sacramento River. The river, where I swam as a boy, where I caught my first fish, swirled green and brown over volcanic boulders, looking as clear as ever. The willows on its banks were unharmed. Only a few small rust-colored plants caught my eye--signs of poison or just of the season? The river splashed and whispered.
June 13, 2011 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
There's still some magic in the Steven Spielberg touch as "Super 8," a coming-of-age/sci-fi movie hybrid, topped the box office this weekend — a rarity for an original film released in a summer filled with reboots, prequels and sequels. The Spielberg-produced and J.J. Abrams-directed film, with no A-list stars and a moderate budget, grossed $37 million upon its debut, according to distributor Paramount Pictures. That was enough to beat out a movie from a more well-established franchise in its second week of release, "X-Men: First Class," which collected $25 million.
November 3, 1988 | DAVID LAMB, Times Staff Writer
Here on the banks of the Androscoggin River, in the dense woods of western Maine, David battled Goliath and lost. The fight was for more than jobs. It was for the soul of an old mill town and for the right of a hired hand to set a value on his own labor. The battle ended quietly and unexpectedly the other day with no concessions and no consensus. But if there is one point on which everyone agrees, it is that the long, bitter strike at the International Paper Co.'
September 22, 1999
This chart tracks video sales--alternating weekly between an overall view of the market and profiles of individual segments. Sales data include mass merchandisers and retailers but not most discount outlets. Theatrical: 73% Children's: 14% Television: 3% Exercise: 6% Sports: 2% Other: 2% Children's Video Vendors Year-to-date share of the children's non-theatrical video sales market through Sept. 12 and current top-selling theatrical videos: Company: Warner Home Video* Share: 21.
February 24, 2011 | Meghan Daum
Several years ago I participated in a public "debate" about the exigent matter of whether Los Angeles was better than New York or vice versa. I put "debate" in quotes because it was more like a reading followed by 20 minutes of lethargic sparring. The event was called something like "New York vs. L.A.: Which Is Better," and people had actually shown up to watch as if they might learn something. My opponent was a fortysomething writer/artist/DJ, or something along those lines. I won't attempt to re-create his oration, but these were his major talking points.
February 14, 2011 | By Amy Kaufman and Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
The Beliebers were right after all. While some had questioned the box office clout of diminutive pop star Justin Bieber, his rabid teenybopper fan base came out in full force this past weekend and spent $30.3 million on movie tickets for the 16-year-old's 3-D biopic, "Never Say Never," according to an estimate from distributor Paramount Pictures. As is shown in the film, Bieber can sell out Madison Square Garden, but it was unclear if he had enough fans to fill more than 3,000 movie theaters nationwide.
February 7, 2011 | By Amy Kaufman and Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
The king of the box office was no match for a teen soap opera queen bee this weekend. The 3-D underwater adventure "Sanctum," which was executive produced and heavily promoted by "Avatar" director James Cameron, opened to $9.2 million, according to an estimate from distributor Universal Pictures. That was well short of the weekend's other new film, "The Roommate," a thriller starring Leighton Meester from the TV show "Gossip Girl. " It debuted to a better but not great $15.6 million.
January 24, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
With football playoffs dominating the pop culture landscape this weekend, Paramount Pictures' hope with "No Strings Attached" was to get a good number of women out to movie theaters. It succeeded, as the friends-with-benefits comedy starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher opened to a solid $20.3 million, according to studio estimates, to win the weekend; 70% of attendees were women, exit polling showed. It was the only new picture to open nationwide, continuing what has been a slow January at the box office.
January 10, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
On the first box-office weekend of 2011, it was all about which holiday movie had the most staying power. That turned out to be the Coen brothers' western "True Grit," which after two weeks of nipping at the heels of "Little Fockers," surpassed it to become the No. 1 movie in the U.S. and Canada with a studio-estimated $15 million in ticket sales. "Fockers" was close behind with $13.8 million, down 47% on its third weekend. Two additional movies, the Nicolas Cage historical action tale "Season of the Witch" and the Gwyneth Paltrow music drama "Country Strong," failed to make much of an impact, with just $10.7 million and $7.3 million, respectively.
December 27, 2010 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Considering that Christmas Eve ? traditionally one of the slowest days for moviegoing all year ? fell on a Friday, it would have taken a holiday miracle to keep box-office receipts from tumbling from what they were a year ago. "Little Fockers" was not that holiday miracle. The costly third installment in the comedy series starring Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro failed to live up to big expectations, opening to $48.3 million from Wednesday through Sunday, according to an estimate from distributor Universal Pictures.
December 24, 2010 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
It's not that difficult to find the heart of this small east Texas city with wide-open spaces and lanky pine trees that breach the pale blue sky. Cruise past the 67-foot statue of Sam Houston (who's buried here), the town square and the plantation-style homes with the porches that wrap all the way around. Turn on to Avenue I, and there it stands: high, red brick walls the color of a schoolhouse. Inside are cramped cinderblock cells, inmates, guards and ? what put Huntsville on the map ?
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