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Covello & Covello Historical Photograph

Pacific Avenue, Jan. 26, 1965: This was before Chuck Abbott and Roy Rydell changed the look and feel of the avenue into a "mall." Note the pitiful potted trees on the right in front of the chiropractor's office. Can you pick out Palace Stationery squeezed into the Odd Fellows Building on the left? Also barely visible are Riordan-Winnett Travel Agency and Fortier's Opticians. I can also see a sign stating in big bold letters "S&M Bakery" next to Pennell's Jewelers, but I don't want to go there.

Bruce Bratton

MORE MALL MOVINGS. Last week's Metro Santa Cruz ink wasn't even dry when I learned that Kelly's wasn't going to move into the Museum of Art and History's restaurant space--so far nobody's slated to move into there. Rick Strini is going to open Strini Art Glass in Tom Bihn's old back-pack shop on Locust Street next to Thomas Mantle "the Goldsmith" Designs. A women's clothing shoppe is going into the Economy Drug Store spot at 907 Cedar near Church. It's Palace stationers that is moving into the old Crown Books space. According to the consultants the city hired, our retail spaces downtown are at about an 8 percent vacancy rate. A healthy vacancy rate is between 5 and 10 percent, so, as is seldom stated in the Sentinel, our downtown is very healthy.

CAVORTING ON CABLE. I saw Lulu on the Bridge last Sunday night on Starz, one of those cable stations. It's a 1998 film directed by Paul Aster, starring Harvey Keitel, Mira Sorvino, Willem Dafoe, Gina Gershon, Vanessa Redgrave and Mandy Patinkin. I'd never heard of it and can't track it down anyplace. That's the kind of thing you see on cable TV. Ralph Fiennes and Liv Tyler in Onegin, Natassja Kinski and John Savage in Little Boy Blue, Christian Slater and Derek Jacobi in Basil. I won't say that these are all brilliant additions to cinema history, but when these oddities can't make it in the big commercial world, it seems like more and more often they end up on cable TV, and we get a chance to see some exciting movie-making we'd otherwise miss completely.

BIG-SCREEN FILMS. That Polish film Pan Tadeusz was a monumental epic. If it ever does come back, go for it. The music is as beautiful as the critics claim. Skulls isn't worth your time or money. It's not exciting or important or particularly well acted. It's just hard to believe that three of our presidents have belonged, and they had to get branded, too! I missed Titus, the new Shakespeare film starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. But Shakespeare experts Audrey Stanley and the real Michael Warren both told me this adaptation is astonishing, amazing and vibrant and well worth seeing.

METROBASE MEETING. Where the MetroBase should be located will probably be a defining City Council election campaign issue in November, along with having the downtown plaza at Pacific and Church streets. There's going to be a pro and con Community Forum about MetroBase Thursday (April 6) at 7pm at Bay View Elementary School. Community Television, the Transportation Think Tank and Emily's Bakery are sponsoring it. Geoffrey Dunn will moderate, and Jan Beautz, Mark Primack, bus operator Wally Brondstatter, UCSC's director of transportation Wes Scott, bicycle activist Ron Goodman and transportation activist B. Jefferson Le Blanc will all be on the panel. Transit District general manager Les White will be making a brief presentation, and there'll be plenty of time to ask questions and get answers. It'll all be videoed and shown on Community TV later. Gee, if we had district elections in the city, there wouldn't be any problem about where to put MetroBase; the majority of districts would just dump it on whichever district was most poorly represented. That's the way it was in the Live Oak district in the county before Beautz took over. Now we have to work it all out fairly. Call 426.9704 for more information.

MORE STRAVINSKY AND COPLAND. The Santa Cruz Symphony's version of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring was just fine, and if you liked that you should hear and see Stravinsky's L'Histoire du soldat. The Santa Cruz Chamber Players are performing the piece, with Sara Wilbourne and Ken Williams dancing it. Soprano Kathleen Nitz will narrate and sing it, while Ivan Rosenblum, Alice Talbot and Jeff Gallagher play. The evening is called "20th-Century Au Revoir" and will also feature music by Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, William Bolcom and John Lennon. It's happening Saturday (April 8) at 8pm in the Schilling Forum at Cabrilho College. You can probably get tickets at the door, but call 425.3149 just in case.

NOTES IN PASSING. Weren't you a little surprised to read in Nat Hentoff's column last week (in the Sentinel) that Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were pro-life, and staunchly so, and that their anti-abortion stands have substantial documentation? It was also amazing that Ken Burns' new PBS documentary, Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, completely ignored both Stanton's and Anthony's beliefs. Hentoff went on to wonder if the tributes during this Women's History Month to these remarkable women will also whitewash those anti-abortion stands.

MORE ON FILMS. Santa Cruzans take films seriously, in case you hadn't noticed. Morton Marcus' film talks at the Nickelodeon are going strong; there's another film-discussion series about to be announced happening at the Jahva House; and there's a four-week class coming in May that sounds wonderful. The UCSC class is called Contemporary Gods and Goddesses: Archetypal Images in Film. Author Cathleen Rountree is teaching it. She's written six books and has an M.A. in mythological studies and psychology. She'll be showing film clips of such contemporary heroes as Julia Roberts, James Dean, Katharine Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe and talk about why and how they represent such gods and goddesses as Hermes, Dionysius, Apollo and Aphrodite in our personal and subliminal projections--which all goes to explain why movies are so universally popular. The classes will be at the new University Town Center. They will run for four Wednesdays, 6:30 to 9:30pm, starting May 10. Call UCSC Humanities to enroll (and you have to enroll) at 427.6695.

OLD HOME WEEK. The Flying Karamazov Brothers are doing two rare appearances here next week, on April 9 at 3:30 and 7:30pm in the Santa Cruz Veterans Hall. Newcomers may not know that these guys are UC grads who went on to the big time on Broadway, on television and in Hollywood films--just don't mention Ishtar. They haven't played here in four years, and they're bringing another area favorite, folk singer Faith Petric. Juggler and magician Frank Olivier will be here, too; he's probably Barry Olivier's son from the Berkeley Folk Music Festival days in the '60s. Wendy Parkman, the Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Band and Alfredo Fettuccine will all be part of this amazingly well-planned chaos of a show. Proceeds go to support the New Old Time Chautauqua, a traveling vaudeville circus. In 1989, the Karamazovs, Tom Noddy and yours truly actually had a Secret Parade right through all the pavilions (tents) that held the stores that were destroyed by the Loma Prieta earthquake. Those were the crazy old days, but the Karamazovs have always been an integral part of our town, and it's great to have them back. Get tickets at Gateway books and at Bookworks in Aptos.

FIRST NIGHT REVISITED. The Artist of the Year performances from First Night 2000 will be shown on Channel 3 starting this Sunday at 9pm. After that, they're on Saturdays and Sundays at 9am, plus 3 and 9pm. I hear they televise very well.

MORE OLD-TIMEY STUFF. Steve Kessler, one-time weekly newspaper writer, editor and even publisher (The Express and The Sun among others) will be at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Tuesday (April 11) at 7:30pm. He's pushing his new book of poems, After Modigliani. I'd tell you about the poems, but I've never read any of them. All he sent me was the cover, but it's a very nice cover. If you like poetry book covers, take a look at this one.


Bruce critiques films every other Thursday at 12:50pm on KUSP (88.9FM). Reach Bruce at 457.9000, ext. 400.

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From the April 5-12, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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