Boogie Nights | 1997
Paul Thomas Anderson’s somewhat rose-tinted look at the fall of the porn film industry in the 70s, bursting with style, energy and great performances – not to mention the pounding soundtrack – was filmed largely in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles.
The ‘Hot Traxx’ disco, where film director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) spots Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) working as a waiter, has cleaned up its act a little, and is in fact a church, Iglesia Cristiana Nuevo Empezar, 18419 Sherman Way at Canby Avenue, Reseda. Just west, on Sherman Way, you can see the, now-closed, Reseda Picture House used for the opening credits.
Eddie, with Amber Waves (Julianne Moore) and Rollergirl (Heather Graham), is whisked off to a late-night restaurant, where Jack Horner expounds his messianic vision of adult cinema – “It is my dream to make a film that is true and right and dramatic”. And indeed, Du-par's Restaurant, 12036 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, just off Laurel Canyon Boulevard as you enter the Valley from Hollywood, is open 24 hours a day, serving up hearty breakfasts and pies since 1938.
Anderson plays fair with Eddie Adams' house, which really is way down in Northwest Torrance, south of LAX. It’s 3503 West 187th Street, just where the road turns sharply south to become Cerise Avenue, south of the I-405.
Jack Horner’s luxurious house, way to the east of Los Angeles proper, is 19515 East Cameron Avenue at Quail Valley Lane in West Covina, though his porno warehouse really was back in the Valley, Gourmet Video in Van Nuys.
Eddie, transformed into porn legend Dirk Diggler and down on his luck, is reduced to showing off his spectacular endowment for bucks in front of St Catherine’s of Siena Church, 18115 Sherman Way at Lindley Avenue, Reseda, where he gets beaten up by a carload of surfer punks.
A little further west along Sherman Way, the life of Buck Swope (Don Cheadle) is turned around when witnesses the bloodily bungled robbery at Miss Donuts, 18231 Sherman Way, near Etiwanda Avenue.
Todd Parker (Thomas Jane) ropes Dirk and Reed (John C Reilly) into his dubious scam to rip off Rahad (Alfred Molina) at the El Royale Motel, now slightly prettified to become the El Royale Hotel, 11117 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City.
Rahad’s stylish house was way to the west, at 16801 Encino Hills Drive opposite Terrace View Drive, in the squiggle of roads south of Encino between Ventura Boulevard and Mulholland Drive. Built in 1964, it was completely remodelled as a two-story residence in 2005.