I'd Do Anything for the Part Note: And Sophia Loren did.Starting next week in Florence she will begin shooting "Tieta," a new film by Lina Wertmuller. According to a spokesman, Loren's desire to do the film was the main reason she returned to Italy and spent a brief term in prison for income tax evasion . . . The film is based on a novel by Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado, and Loren plays a high-class hooker who gets involved in home-town environmental issues . . .

Save the Theater Note: A battle is brewing over the Old Vic Theatre, one of England's most famous. The theater was the home of the Old Vic company until recently, when the company closed because of the dread disease -- arts funds cutbacks.Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer of "Evita" and next season's certain smash hit "Cats," tried to buy the house but was outbid by Canadian impresario Edwin Mirvish, who offered $1 million. The Old Vic board of governors said they had to sell to the highest bidder . . . But Webber, who wants the theater to stay in British hands, said he had made a counter-offer . . . No resolution of the situation has been reported but perhaps the New York solution could be applied -- knock the theater down and replace it with a 70-story, $200-a-night hotel . . .

Sunset Kudos note: Honors continue to be heaped on 76-year-old Billy Wilder. First it was the Film Society of Lincoln Centre honoring the creator's work, which includes "Sunset Boulevard," "Stalag 17" and "Some Like It Hot." Three weeks ago in Rome, Wilder received the Filmcritica-City of Rome award for lifetime achievement in cinema . . .

For '60s Survivors Only Note: Back in the days of the counterculture, midnight movies were not trivial fun, like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"; they were ponderously profound, like "El Topo." The director of "El Topo" was Alejandro Jodorowsky, who has not done a great deal since. However, Variety reports that he may soon be making a film starring Terence Stamp . . .