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SCREEN GEMS UNIVERSAL STUDIOS WILL HOLD 'GARAGE SALE' THIS WEEKEND.

Byline: Candice Choi Staff Writer

Universal Studios is inviting the star-struck masses to snatch up a piece of cinematic history at a larger-than-life ``garage sale'' Friday through Sunday on the lot.

``I just want to get my paws on some movie props,'' said Dan Fesman, a Universal employee who was about to haul away a giant neon ``Laugh'' sign used in the feature film ``Cat in the Hat.''

Once in a blue moon Universal holds a sale of leftover inventory for its employees, but Friday the studio is opening its exclusive gates to the public.

Universal employees got first dibs on the movie goodies Wednesday and Thursday.

Julie Sanders dug up a sparkly pink taffeta dress for her niece, who she said will be doubly thrilled to learn it came from the set of ``The Cat in the Hat.''

``She loves playing dress-up and she loved the movie,'' Sanders said.

Among the eclectic array of props for sale are model horse heads from ``Seabiscuit,'' army helmets from ``The Chronicles of Riddick'' and life-size dinosaurs from ``Jurassic Park.'' Designer clothes, costume jewelry, furniture and props of every stripe are also up for grabs at discounted prices.

The sale is being held on Stage 28, where remnants of the ``Phantom of the Opera'' set still hover in the rafters. Scenes from ``The Cat in the Hat'' were also recently filmed on the stage.

A bulk of wardrobe leftovers normally go to It's A Wrap!, a Burbank shop that partners with major studios to sell discarded movie clothes and accessories. Shop owner Tiara Nappi wanted to try her hand at directing a sale on location this time around.

``It gives people a chance to see what the movie world is like,'' Nappi said. ``Not even the tours let people walk onto a stage.''

If the on-site sale is successful, Nappi said she wants to work with other studios to make it a regular event.

``This gives people a taste of Hollywood - we want to give everyone a chance to participate,'' said Tony Grana, vice president of production resources and feature assets at Universal.

Profits from the sale will be funneled back into production costs, Grana said. Unsold props will be stored in the studio's archives or displayed at theme parks and premieres.

Universal typically disposes of its assets in a number of ways; the studio donates wigs to cancer societies and set walls to school drama departments. Grana said he hopes to make the public sales a recurring event; he can't recall the last time the studio opened the sale to the public.

Anthony Deckoff, a Universal employee who was shopping at the sale yesterday, said the last time he went to a studio sale was several years ago. He walked away with a blazer from the TV miniseries ``Coach.''

``It's interesting just rummaging around,'' said Deckoff, who normally spends his days working in the story department reading scripts.

If Universal employee Michael Sparr had $2,500 to spare, he would've snatched up the slimy dinosaur fetus from ``Jurassic Park.''

``I liked the movie - plus I could use it to scare people,'' Sparr said.

Candice Choi, (818) 713-3634

candice.choi(at)dailynews.com

CAPTION(S):

4 photos, box

Photo:

(1 -- color) Movie wardrobes and props - like the giant television sets used in ``The Cat in the Hat'' - will be on sale this weekend.

(2 -- 3 -- color) The raincoat worn by Laura Dern in ``Jurassic Park: The Lost World'' is among the movie wardrobe items up for sale. Shoppers at Universal Studios this weekend will be able to buy horseshoes from the 2003 film ``Seabiscuit.''

(4) Universal Studios is letting the public onto the lot to buy movie props, like these giant tools from ``The Cat in the Hat.''

David Sprague/Staff Photographer

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 11, 2004
Words:633
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