The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is relatively new, it's glittery, and it's located in a downtown Los Angeles plaza full of other nice theaters and fountains and art. The Shrine Auditorium is farolder and far dingier, it has a dip in the middle of the floor that makes it hard to see if you're sitting in the wrong place, and it's on a street in a fairly seamy section of downtown Los Angeles.
But the Shrine seats almost 6,000 people to the Chandler's 3,000 -- and so for the 60th annual Academy Awards ceremony next April 11, the Shrine will be home. The Shrine, which usually hosts the Grammys, was the site of the 1947 and 1948 Oscars; the Chandler has hosted them for the past 19 years. The main reason for the switch, according to Academy President Robert E. Wise, is that Academy leaders want the 60th presentation to be especially momentous, and they want to accommodate every member who'd like to attend. That wouldn't have been possible at the Chandler, though Wise says the Oscars may move back there sometime in the future.
Riding Piggyback Now that "Ishtar" has died, things are back to normal in the relationship between Columbia Pictures and its parent firm, the Coca-Cola Co. Columbia and Coke have apparently been highly pleased with the results of an experimental television ad that in 30 seconds promotes both Diet Coke and "Roxanne." The studio says the two products are an ideal match -- they're both sweet and fizzy, one supposes -- and that they plan to repeat the ads with another upcoming Columbia film, which they don't want to reveal quite yet. Clearly, Coke couldn't have done this kind of thing with "Ishtar," which contained a mention of Pepsi; just as clearly, you could have a field day trying to decide which products would best be piggybacked onto ads for, say, "The Witches of Eastwick."
More Ads At Paramount Pictures, meanwhile, they're pleased enough with the possibilities for commercial tie-ins that the company has just appointed an executive director to supervise product placement in all Paramount films. Jeffrey Coleman, Paramount's new product placement chief, told Daily Variety that the business of featuring brand-name products in the movies in exchange for some kind of consideration has changed significantly: Studios used to do it in exchange for a batch of free samples, but now it's not uncommon for manufacturers to pay six-figure amounts to have their wares shown in the right movie. Naturally, Coleman also said that he wouldn't consider a product's placement unless it was artistically appropriate to the film.
Trailers On the heels of his debut as James Bond, Timothy Dalton will star in an Australian-financed film based on a story by Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb. Called "Hawks," it starts filming in September ... Singer-choreographer Toni Basil (who had a hit a few years back with "Mickey" and then disappeared from the charts) is also moving to the movies. She's the star of "Slaughterhouse Rock," a horror comedy about a college student who has recurring musical nightmares ... Director Norman Jewison's recent three-year contract with MGM will begin with "The January Man," a murder mystery with touches, they say, of romance and comedy. Jewison will produce the movie, and he may also direct ... And finally, a novel called "The Jeweler's Shop," written by a Catholic bishop in 1960, will soon become a feature film starring Burt Lancaster and Ben Cross. The $9 million movie is noteworthy mostly because the bishop who wrote the novel almost 30 years ago went on to become Pope John Paul II