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It's a decade since Twin Falls' last picture show

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I don't know how you could possibly forget it, but it's the 10th anniversary of Twin Falls' last-and-only foray into Hollywood …

For six weeks in the spring of 1998, Bruce Willis, Albert Finney, Nick Nolte, Omar Epps and a cast of dozens enthralled Twin Falls by shooting the movie version of Kurt Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions" here …

Never heard of a film version of "Breakfast of Champions"? … You're forgiven; it went straight to video …

Yeah, it was that bad …Yet it started with so much promise … The director was Robert Altman protege Alan Rudolph, who had just filmed "Afterglow" with Nolte and Julie Christie … Critics raved …

Yet since "Breakfast," Rudolph hasn't, um, been in demand …

In retrospect, "Breakfast" was probably an unfilmable book, what with its story line about a crazy car dealer (Willis), a hack science-fiction writer (Finney) and a transvestite sales manager (Nolte) … Vonnegut himself had a bit part in the movie, which required him to spend two days in Twin Falls …

But it was great fun while it lasted. … More than 100 locals worked on the shoot, including the Twin Falls High School marching band … Nolte wandered around behind the old Sandpiper restaurant (now Tomato's Italian Grill) in his pajamas, Willis did televised interviews with David Letterman from the Turf Club and Rudolph struggled to accommodate cranky Blue Lakes Boulevard North retailers who didn't want their signs in the film … Lukas Haas, portraying the son of Willis' character, played piano in the lounge at the AmeriTel Inn (which had neither a lounge north a piano) …

Much of "Breakfast" was filmed at Gary's Westland Motors, a Pontiac dealership that occupied the building that now houses a Rob Green car lot …

Walt Disney Pictures' Buena Vista subsidiary agreed to distribute the film as part of a multi-movie deal with Willis that included the 1999 blockbuster "The Sixth Sense." …

"Breakfast" cost $12 million to make and earned $175,000 at the box office …

Shortly before his death in 2007, Vonnegut recorded an audiobook of "Breakfast." … He recommends the book-on-tape version to the movie, which he calls "painful to watch." …

YOU KNEW it had to happen …

Last month, the St. Paul Saints minor league baseball team gave away spring-loaded "bobble-legged stalls" of an unknown person inside a toilet stall to commemorate Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's adventures at the Minneapolis airport last year …

Now they're on eBay …

"Though none have completed the auction yet, one is up to $103," e-mails former Twin Falls resident Mary Lynn Arter … "Of course, that one includes the original owner's e-ticket to the game ?" proof of authenticity, I suppose."…

Craig is writing an autobiography. Wonder if it will earn as much as the stalls? …

Steve Crump is the Times-News Opinion editor.

Do tell

If it's quirky, odd, poignant or funny and it happens in south-central Idaho, I want to hear about it.

Call me at 735-3223, or write at scrump@magicvalley.com.

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