AVI means nothing. It is only a container, that may hold scrap metal, chemicals, old shoes, medicine, furniture, electronics, coffee beans, food, spices, what have you. What is relevant is what is inside that container. What codec is used. Use Gspot to determine that. PR only likes a very few codecs. It doesn't like old shoes for instance, nor toxic chemicals.
Welcome to the forum.
As Harm mentions, AVI is but a "wrapper." All sorts of things can be inside there. This ARTICLE will give you some background.
Within that article will be tips on "peeking" inside the "wrapper." It mentions G-Spot. Please post a screen-cap from G-Spot, with that file in it. That will tell us what needs to be done next - probably convert.
Thanks for you the article.
As you recommended, I used G-spot to know what containt the avi that doesn't play in Premiere. See attached document, a screen capture of G-spot.
What can I do now to have Premiere read this file?
thanks for you help
gspot_lightning.jpg 171.2 K
This is some variant of MPEG-4 that was never meant to be edited, only watched. If you still want to edit it, convert it to an editable format like MS DV AVI type2. Use Google to find a suitable converter. Be prepared for a severe quality hit.