The producers of the new comedy TOOTSIE won a ratings appeal with the Motion Picture Association's Classification and Ratings Administration. The film now opens nationally next Friday with a PG instead of an R rating. If you crave a sneak preview, "Tootsie" is scheduled for several area showings this Saturday night. Simultaneously, alas, with the Georgetown-Virginia game.

y The local chapter of Women in Film and Video, Inc. wishes to alert those interested in the benefit premiere of the new Burt Reynolds-Goldie Hawn film, BEST FRIENDS, Thursday at 8 at the Tenley Circle, to a slight change in arrangements: Reservations should now be made by contacting Shelley Nemerossky at 828-4087. Proceeds will be used to help subsidize the organization's third annual film festival, scheduled for March at the American Film Institute Theater.

y THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES, the last AFI Theater series before the Christmas hiatus, begins this Friday with a showing of Bertrand Blier's BEAU PERE starring the late Patrick Dewaere. Devoted to key or rarely seen work by recently deceased stars and filmmakers, the series includes Grace Kelly's last feature, THE SWAN; the beginning-and-ending Ingrid Bergman bill of INTERMEZZO and AUTUMN SONATA; the Henry Fonda bill of YOUNG MR. LINCOLN and TWELVE ANGRY MEN; and Claude Sautet's great romantic comedy CESAR AND ROSALIE, which co-starred Romy Schneider.

y Universal, the distributor of E.T., recently projected record 1982 film rentals (the distributor's share of the box-office take) of $400 million, roughly $100 million above the previous annual high. Some trade sources estimate that "E.T." accounts for about 49 percent of the company's rental income, so the film must be closing in on the "Star Wars" rental mark of about $191 million. Incidentally, the Roth chain is enhancing its Christmas bookings of "E.T." with weekend appearances by a staffer as E.T. in a Santa Claus costume. Check the movie directory for notices of the honored guest's scheduled times of arrival. As the distributor of "Missing," "E.T." and the stunning new movie version of SOPHIE'S CHOICE, Universal would also appear to be enviably equipped to dominate the next Academy Awards competition. The company's success this year began with the release of "On Golden Pond" and now culminates with "Sophie's Choice" -- both acquired as part of a deal with Lord Lew Grade's production organization, ITC, forced out of business by the costs on "Raise the Titanic" before "On Golden Pond" or "Sophie's Choice" could help restore confidence the cash flow. It will be interesting to see if Universal treats "Sophie's Choice" like a poor relation during the awards season. The movie's impact and the brilliance of its performances will probably make neglect impossible, but pictures actually nurtured on the premises, like "Missing" and "E.T.," no doubt have more powerful claims on company loyalty.