Benigni enjoys the mixing of culture, commerce

HOLLYWOOD — Holding the “Pinocchio” preem in a mall three days before Christmas had its ups and downs.

On the downside, splitting the Grove in half with a red carpet added to the general holiday shopping chaos. (Try telling a woman with two kids and a stroller she has to walk across a bridge to reach FAO Schwartz.)

And by Sunday, most industryites had left town, so there was a light turnout. In fact, there seemed to be more celebs shopping than going to the movie. (The paparazzi still aren’t sure if Diane Keaton was there to see the movie or shop.)

On the plus side, the preem staff could do last minute shopping. The Italian tourists were thrilled to see star Roberto Benigni. And the red carpet matched nicely with the holiday decor.

Benigni said he had “never, ever” been to a premiere in a mall, but “I like the mixing, the potpourri of culture and commerce.”

Among those mixing at Sunday’s Entertainment Industry Foundation benefit were Miramax’s Bob Osher and Lori Sale; co-star Nicoletta Braschi; voice talent Breckin Meyer; plus guests Jim Gianopulos, Robert Davi, Sela Ward, Alan Thicke and Maria Conchito Alonzo.

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