What was that old comment by Mark Twain about reports of his death being greatly exaggerated?
Similarly, Doug Wright and I cavalierly implied on our Friday morning KSL Radio program recently that Rocky Mountain Video has been shut down since the ill-fated fire that caused much damage there back in December.But Randy Herbert, co-owner of the store (with husband Everett), called to inform us that, despite reports to the contrary, the huge video store at 2200 W. 3500 South, near the Valley Fair Mall, is open for business - and has been since the day after the fire.
Doug and I apologize for our appalling ignorance.
If only this were an isolated case.
At any rate, the media's enthusiasm to report the tragedy of the fire overshadowed the story a couple of days later that Rocky Mountain was open for business and that most of its video inventory was intact.
In fact, according to Herbert, not a single video was lost in the fire. "Some tapes had to be cleaned, but none were totally wasted or damaged beyond repair."
The building was damaged, of course, when the fire broke out about 9 p.m. Dec. 13. "It was burning from the outside up in the ceilings, caused by a bad transformer or bad wiring in the signs." The store was open and a customer saw the flames from outside the store.
"There was damage to the signs, ceiling, insulation, ceiling tile and there was carpet damage from the firemen, some computer damage. Business slowed down a bit; our customers thought we were shut down from all the media coverage. But we contacted everybody who wrote an article or had a TV story we were aware of and they followed up with stories" that the store was open.
Insurance covered all repairs, which will be complete when new carpet is installed April 4. "Business is back to normal," Everett said. The store rents 11,000-plus videos and sells previously viewed and new videos.
The hottest rental item at the moment?
No, not "The Towering Inferno."
"Ghost," of course.
- TIME AGAIN TO LIST some of the most frequently requested movies that are not yet on video.
Why aren't they?
Beats me. But you can bet if the movie studios that own them were wise to what audiences really want, these titles would be released on videocassette any minute.
The Slipper and the Rose - Not-bad musical adaptation of "Cinderella," with Richard Chamberlain. One of the top five most-requested movies not yet on video.
The Promise - Kathleen Quinlan is very good, but this soap opera is quite silly, about a young woman whose face is deformed in an auto accident; her fiance's mother will only pay for the operation if she willagree to never see him again. Easily among the top 10 most-requested films.
Me and the Colonel - Danny Kaye's first straight role, more or less, was in this light black-and-white satire about a Jew and a German officer forced to rely on each other during WWII.
Knock on Wood - Kaye again, in one of his better films, as a neurotic ventriloquist mixed up with spies in London.
Support Your Local Gunfighter - James Garner, Suzanne Pleshette and Jack Elam star in this easygoing followup - but not sequel - to "Support Your Local Sheriff."
Star! - The critically drubbed but oft-requested filmography of Gertrude Lawrence, starring Julie Andrews.
Darling Lili - Julie Andrews again, this time in an underrated musical spy yarn set against WWII, with Rock Hudson.
Eleanor and Franklin/Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years - Two superb Emmy-winning miniseries starring Jane Alexander and Edward Herrmann.
J.W. Coop/The Honkers - Two solid rodeo films about over-the-hill riders going out for one more run at the circuit; the current "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" has prompted a recent rise in interest.
Two Weeks With Love - One of Debbie Reynolds' early film appearances was in this Jane Powell vehicle, notable for Reynolds' duet with Carleton Carpenter on "Abba Dabba Honeymoon."
The Mating Game - A funny comedy with Reynolds again, here as a farm girl who catches the fancy of a straight-laced tax agent (Tony Randall).
Robinson Crusoe on Mars - Sci-fi fans know this is a terrific little '60s space twist on the Defoe yarn.
The Entertainer - This 1975 TV-remake of the Olivier classic stars Jack Lemmon as Archie Rice, the egotistical third-rate music hall performer.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The 1940s "sarong girl" Dorothy Lamour, who co-starred with Hope & Crosby in all those "Road" movies, asked by David Cuthbert (for Newhouse News Service) why she doesn't go to movies anymore:
"Because I get embarrassed. Some of the stuff they do now embarrasses me - and honey, I'm no prude. I don't know what's happened to movies. The last picture I liked was `Driving Miss Daisy.' Oh, and `Pretty Woman.' I like something that's happy and clean. As for the rest, you can have it."