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Inside move: Par ends screenings

Studio closes lot to Acad hopefuls for security reasons,

As an indication of how tight studio security is becoming, Paramount Pictures confirms that it has ended Academy Awards screenings on its Hollywood lot.

While other studios like Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Columbia Pictures and Vivendi’s Universal Pictures still plan to hold screenings for the upcoming and always hectic Oscar consideration process, Warner Bros. is taking the added precaution of escorting critics personally onto the lot.

Meanwhile, private screening rooms like Charles Aidikoff’s Beverly Hills location and Raleigh Studios continue to do boffo biz, according to publicists who are pulling hair trying to arrange advance screenings for press and guild members.

A Par spokeswoman declined to comment on the policy.

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