The fire that raged through a city-block-sized area at Universal Studios over the weekend destroyed prints of classic movies that had reportedly been scheduled to be screened at museums, festivals and art houses in the near future. Today's (Wednesday) Los Angeles Times reported that striking a new print from a negative -- the negatives were stored at a separate location -- could cost $5,000 and take months to produce. It did not explain why the classic films required such a long processing time; con ventional film prints can be -- and sometimes are -- struck off by laboratories virtually overnight. On Monday, the studio sent email messages to several theaters that had scheduled screenings of some of the films, saying that because of the fire, "we wi ll be unable to honor any film bookings of prints that were set to ship from here." Published reports indicated, however, that the studio may have duplicate prints stored at other locations.