Local Moviegoer Signs $70, 10-Picture Deal With Cineplex Odeon

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Vol 32 Issue 02

World's Muslims Lighten Up

JERUSALEM—After centuries of strict fundamentalism, Yasir Arafat and fellow Muslims are finally taking things a little less seriously.

Football Star Rusty In Sloppy Preseason Drug Bust

OAKLAND, CA—Oakland Raiders' cornerback Demetrius Phillips looked unimpressive in his first drug arrest of the preseason Monday, surrendering to police after a three-minute car chase and engaging in possession of less than two grams of marijuana. Adding to the lackluster quality of the bust, police said that as Phillips was handcuffed and carried off, he failed to shout, "Get your hands off me—I'll fuck you up, motherfuckers," ending a three-arrest streak. "Demetrius really looked rusty out there today," said Raiders defensive-backs coach Denny Carlisle. "If this was the middle of the season, he would have had at least 10 grams of coke on him and a loaded revolver, easy. He's definitely got his work cut out for him before the season opener."

Marilu Henner Named U.S. Secretary Of Mid-Level Talent

WASHINGTON, DC—In an official White House ceremony Monday, President Clinton appointed actress Marilu Henner the first-ever U.S. Secretary of Mid-Level Talent. "Until now, the needs of America's approximately 2,500 mid-level celebrities have been sorely ignored in Washington," Clinton said. "But I am confident that Secretary Henner, with her large but not overly impressive acting resume and her not-that-huge fame, is well-suited to represent marginally talented Americans like Mariette Hartley, Rene Auberjonois, Eileen Brennan and Peabo Bryson." For Henner's first act in office, she plans to promote awareness of veteran character actor Robert Wuhl, a supporting actor in Batman and Bull Durham, and star of the HBO original series Arli$$, "a man who still," Henner told reporters Tuesday, "exists."

Thing Happens

SUMATRA, INDONESIA—According to an unconfirmed report, a thing happened Monday, though experts say it is still not clear exactly what the thing was. "All we know at this time," University of Prague professor of phenomenology Rupert Heiden said, "is that some kind of thing happened." Ordinary citizens, meanwhile, are struggling to put the thing into proper perspective. "You just don't expect a thing like this to happen," Stockton, CA, resident Pamela Worthington said. "Not with things the way they've been." In a statement released late Tuesday, President Clinton urged all Americans to remain calm and allow things to take their natural course. "These things happen," he said.

Incorrect Pain-Reliever Brand Choice Results In Missed Job Promotion

SAN FRANCISCO—In a tragic case of pain-reliever brand choice gone wrong, Gus Farber, an assistant sales-team project coordinator with the marketing firm of Integrated Management Solutions, missed a rare opportunity for job advancement Monday due to an error in headache-relief medication selection.

YES vs. NO

That in 1997 the manufacture of erotic novelty cakes is still the responsibility of the federal government is preposterous.
It is high time that erotic-cake production be privatized, both to improve their quality through free-market competition and to spur economic growth.

Lilith Fair Fever

Lilith Fair, the all-female tour started by singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan, is the hit of the summer concert season. Why are so many responding to it?
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Man Commits To New TV Show Just Hours After Getting Out Of 7-Season Series

UNION CITY, NJ—Recommending that he give himself the chance to pause and explore the other options out there, friends of local man Jonathan Gember expressed their concerns to reporters Wednesday that the 29-year-old is already committing to a new television show just hours after getting out of a seven-season-long series.


Local Moviegoer Signs $70, 10-Picture Deal With Cineplex Odeon

LOS ANGELES—In a deal that has sent shock waves through the entertainment industry, Cineplex Odeon, the nation's second largest movie-theater chain, has agreed in principle to a 10-picture, $70 deal with Harrisburg, PA, bank teller Douglas Phelps.

Douglas Phelps recently inked a blockbuster 10-picture "Bonus Savings Pak" deal with Cineplex Odeon, which movie insiders say could save him an estimated $10.

The blockbuster deal, first reported by Variety and subsequently confirmed by Cineplex Odeon vice-president Michael Katz, is believed to be the largest ever signed between a film distributor and a moviegoer.

"This is a real coup for Cineplex Odeon," Katz said. "With his incredible movie-going track record, Doug Phelps has to be considered one of the nation's most consistently box-office drawn."

The deal was finalized Monday evening during a meeting between Phelps and Jennifer Van Brocklin, 19, a ticket seller at Harrisburg's South Towne Multiplex theater. Phelps paid for the entire deal up front, giving Van Brocklin four $20 bills in exchange for a legally binding contract in the form of a Cineplex Odeon "Bonus Savings Pak" and $10 change.

Phelps then returned one of his newly acquired discount movie passes to Van Brocklin in order to gain admission to Conspiracy Theory, which multiplex sources say was showing in theater five at the time.

While the 10-picture Bonus Pak deal is expected to save Phelps, long known for his patented "cross-legged" style of viewing, an estimated $10 on regularly priced movie admissions, many believe that it is Cineplex Odeon that stands to gain the most from the deal.

According to Variety editor Ron Sacks, Phelps' presence will strongly draw other moviegoers to Cineplex Odeon theaters.

"In Douglas Phelps, Cineplex Odeon has signed a guy who can put people in the seats," Sacks said. "He has a proven track record of good movie choices: This summer, he avoided Batman & Robin, Buddy and The Fifth Element, sensing trouble. Of the two Nicolas Cage movies out, he chose Face/Off, not Con Air. That's the kind of instinct you can't teach. Believe me, where Doug Phelps goes, others will follow."

Movie-industry insiders project that Cineplex Odeon could net an additional $57.50 in concessions-stand revenue from the deal if Phelps averages a $3.50 large popcorn and $2.25 medium drink purchase over the course of the 10 pictures.

There is still no word as to what film Phelps will see next, though a neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, said that he recently overheard Phelps' girlfriend saying she wanted to "see something romantic this weekend." The report has prompted speculation that he will take her to see Picture Perfect, starring Jennifer Aniston, though many question whether the film meets Phelps' quality standards.

As a result of the blockbuster Phelps-Odeon deal, other major theater chains are now scrambling to develop their own stables of top-notch moviegoers. On Tuesday, Loews Cinemas signed Council Bluffs, IA, math teacher Sandra Lombard to a five-picture deal whose terms remain undisclosed. Sony Theaters is said to be near closing an unprecedented 12-picture, $75 deal with Philadelphia-area dentist Larry Mushnick.

Mary Barton, a Sony spokesperson, denied rumors that her company was once approached by Phelps. "As far as I know, none of Sony's five clean, air-conditioned theaters in the Harrisburg area were visited by Mr. Phelps prior to his deal at [the South Towne Multiplex]," Barton said. "While we wish Mr. Phelps a pleasant movie-going experience at Cineplex Odeon, we are confident that our own pantheon of diverse, dynamic cinema fans will continue to make Sony Theaters the place for watching films."

Reaction to Monday's deal was mixed among the moviemaking public.

"I don't have a problem with it," said Los Angeles-area actor Sylvester Stallone, 49. "The guy ought to be paid whatever the market will bear." New York writer-director Nora Ephron, however, questioned the priorities exemplified by the deal. "When a person is getting a $10 discount just to watch movies, while a hard-working actress like my friend Carrie Fisher makes less than a million per, it's time we started re-examining our values as a society."

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