Arnold Schwarzenegger in Amsterdam
Yes, folks, on Tuesday the 13th of August, 1996, Arnie was
in Amsterdam for the opening of the Planet Hollywood gift
shop. (I guess he's not superstitious.) Of course I
traipsed along to see what was going on. It was a small
media affair which, for those of you unfamiliar with
Amsterdam events, means big.
Let me give you some background. Most people who have
heard of stars, Hollywood, and films in general are
familiar with the name "Planet Hollywood" by now. In
Amsterdam, on the other hand, more often than not I wind
up explaining the phenomenon to the general population.
Everyone will discover exactly what it means on the
restaurant's opening day (next October). The Cineac movie
theatre is classified as a monument in Holland, having
been the cinema which audiences of the 40's visited in
order to view the weekly Polygoon-Filti newsreels. Those
days having passed, it eventually evolved into a cinema
that showed feature films. Lots of discussion has
surrounded this building the past few years with regard to
saving it (because of its monumental status) and now,
finally, its destination settled, it is likely to become
the closest thing to trendy "in" Amsterdam. It'll be nice
to have a place to go.
Last November 11th, Sylvester Stallone visited the city
for the "ground-breaking" ceremony of the new location. A
detonation device was rigged inside the ancient cinema to
blow apart the styrofoam wall bearing the Planet Hollywood
insignia once Sly triggered it. (A kind of miniature set-
up of the Pink Floyd wall in Berlin.) Whoops! Rigged
wrong. Three pieces of styofoam managed to topple forward
once a desperate arm pushed them out from behind. Luckily
Stallone had the presence of mind and necessary
showmanship to jump up on the stage and topple the blocks
himself. Superstar saves day!
But back to Arnold. Let me tell you, he's immaculate.
Clean cut, well-dressed, and impressive; everything an
all-American boy from Austria should be. This time around
it seems as if one of the organizers chose the wrong type
of loudspeakers and sound equipment. For anyone on the
street more than 10 feet away from the podium, it was all
but impossible to decipher. The mayor of the city stood
alongside the superstar. Schwarzenegger got cheers, the
mayor got jeers. Unperturbed by the familiar reception
from his citizens, the mayor continued to greet the star
and present him with a fabulous pair of clogs and a
marvelous Dutch cheese. Who would've guessed? The mayor
had already been presented with a Planet Hollywood jacket.
Which present would most of you preferred? No kidding.
Nevertheless, Schwarzenengger memorably promised he'd "be
back" and that in itself, is something to look forward to.
He thanked all his fans, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Dutch television has managed to turn the short visit into
a two-part program (no kidding) which is basically info
and interview revolving around the Austrian Oak (as he is
nicknamed in Holland). One source tells that the gift
shop was readied within a two week period once the
intended visit was confirmed. I'm amazed, knowing the
condition of the space only two weeks earlier, as well as
the typical speed of municipal construction, that they
managed to finish the shop in time. I'm even more
curious about the entire structure with regard to the
Be that as it may, Arnie, don't forget to send me my
invite for "October Fest" opening in Amsterdam as soon as
you get back to L.A.
© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett