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Wednesday April 17th 2024

Boogie Nights | 1997

Boogie Nights filming location: Irest, Restauración Reseda, 18419 Sherman Way, Reseda
Boogie Nights film location: the 'Hot Traxx' disco: Irest, Restauración Reseda, Sherman Way, Reseda

Paul Thomas Anderson’s – perhaps 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 director's now-familiar setting of the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles.

Boogie Nights filming location: Reseda Theatre, Sherman Way, Reseda
Boogie Nights film location: the cinema marquee in the title shot: Reseda Theatre, Sherman Way, Reseda

The title shot of the famous opening tracking sequence into the nightclub is the marquee of the old Reseda Theatre, 18443 Sherman Way in Reseda. The cinema opened in 1948 and finally closed its doors 40 years later in 1988. Remaining disused and vacant , there've been on/off plans for its renovation as a 5-screen complex.

As you can see, it's difficult even to get a clear photo since a tree has flourished in front of the entrance. Is the film really that old?

The renovations plans thought look like they might finally be going ahead as of 2023... or 2024...

The scene follows the car of film director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) to the ‘Hot Traxx’ disco itself, a little to the east. This is where he spots Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) working as a waiter.

Boogie Nights filming location: Irest, Restauración Reseda, 18419 Sherman Way, Reseda
Boogie Nights film location: the 'Hot Traxx' disco: Irest, Restauración Reseda, Sherman Way, Reseda

The building, 18419 Sherman Way at Canby Avenue, began life in the Fifties as a branch of Sav-On stores, with that unmissable towering signage.

In 1980, the store was transformed into a country music venue, cheekily named The Reseda Country Club. Buck Swope would have loved it.

Going on to broaden its music policy, the venue went on to headline major acts such as BB King, U2, James Brown, REM, Metallica and plenty of other legends.

The venue closed in 2000 to become a Spanish-language church and is currently Irest, Restauración Reseda, 18419 Sherman Way. The bar and seating booths have been removed to become a seriously austere place of worship (how I discovered this is a whole other story).

Boogie Nights filming location: Du-Par's Restaurant, Ventura Boulevard, Studio City
Boogie Nights film location: the late night cafe: Du-Par’s Restaurant (since closed), Ventura Boulevard, Studio City

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, was open 24 hours a day, serving up hearty breakfasts and pies since 1938.

But no more. Not quite reaching 70 years, the restaurant's lease came to an end in 2018 and it too finally closed, to become a branch of Sephora.

Boogie Nights filming location: Du-Par’s Restaurant, Ventura Boulevard, Studio City
Boogie Nights film location: the late night cafe: Du-Par’s Restaurant (since closed), Ventura Boulevard, Studio City

By the way, the Shell gas station just across Ventura from Du-par's is where Jake Gyllenhaal gives his assistant a ticking-off in Nightcrawler.

Boogie Nights filming location: 187th Street, Torrance, Los Angeles
Boogie Nights film location: Eddie finally runs away from his home: 187th Street, Torrance, Los Angeles

After clashing with his demanding Mom once too often, Eddie angrily flees the family home. Anderson plays fair with Eddie Adams' house, which really is way down beneath the pylons 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. Eddie must really love his job to be commuting to Reseda.

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 there's little to see from the street.

His porno warehouse filmed at the real thing, what was Gourmet Video, back in the Valley in Van Nuys.

Boogie Nights filming location: St Catherine's of Siena Church, 18115 Sherman Way at Lindley Avenue, Reseda
Boogie Nights location: Dirk Diggler gets beaten up: St Catherine's of Siena Church, 18115 Sherman Way at Lindley Avenue, Reseda

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.

Boogie Nights filming location: Miss Donuts, 18231 Sherman Way, near Etiwanda Avenue, Reseda
Boogie Nights location: the robbery: Miss Donuts, 18231 Sherman Way, near Etiwanda Avenue, Reseda

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.

Boogie Nights filming location: El Royale Motel, 11117 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City
Boogie Nights filming location: setting up the scam: El Royale Motel, 11117 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City

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.

Boogie Nights filming location: Encino Hills Drive, Encino
Boogie Nights location: home of drug dealer Rahad: Encino Hills Drive, Encino

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 after my photo, in 2005, as a two-story residence.