Many computer aficionados dream about fusing video, sound, and graphics. But the technology for manipulating multimedia is still quite expensive. And since it is advancing so rapidly, potential buyers are worried--rightly--that they may buy gear that would quickly become obsolete.

Catering to the curious but cautious is Creator Center, a new chain of do-it-yourself multimedia shops run by Graphix Zone Inc. The first center, in Irvine, Calif., is stocked with $150,000 worth of advanced audio- and video-editing equipment for IBM PC-compatibles and Macintoshes. For $40 to $60 an hour plus optional training fees, companies such as Knott's Berry Farm amusement park have sent techies over to create snazzy presentations for employee meetings. When done, customers can transfer their work from a PC to videotape, CD-ROM, or laser disk. Future centers are planned for Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, New York, and San Francisco.

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