The "Obie" award is the off-Broadway equivalent of the Tony. Last Sunday, in New York, Amlin Gray received the Obie for his play "How I Got That Story," which is currently at the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center . . .

In London, ticket scalpers are called touts, but no matter what what you call them, when Bruce Springsteen is in town, as he was this past week for a series of concerts at Wembley Stadium, business is good. Tickets that normally cost $14 were being sold for more than $125.

Ed Mintz, a film buff and a data processor, started a company called Cinemasacore to take "almost scientific" samplings of the nation's moviegoing tastes. About the glut of horror films he says, "The horror cycle opens fast but fizzles. But, he adds, "it's an event. Kids like going to a movie to yell and scream. They're gonna stay around." Mintz also had a piece of advice for Burt Reynolds: He is "losing steam in the car movies like 'Smokey and the Bandit.'"

Is there something the English know about our Wild West past that we don't? The following appeared in the Observer, May 24: "The truth is that 'Heaven's Gate' is a damned good western in the politically disenchanted vein of "McCabe and Mrs. Miller,' 'Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid' and 'Missouri Breaks.'" If the names of those films don't ring a bell, it's because they failed to attract an audience when they were first released.

Baltimore's gift to the cinema, John Waters' new film "Polyester" opened last week at the Charles Theatre and set a new box-office record for a first week at that Baltimore Theatre. The movie, from the man who gave us "Pink Flamingoes," stars Tab Hunter and Divine.The film grossed $18,494, beating the previous record of $9,200.