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Filming Locations: Valley Girl (1983)




Probably the quintessential movie made to date about the San Fernando Valley appropriately titled, Valley Girl, was released in 1983 and directed by Martha Coolridge. So many stereotypes of the Valley were established from this movie with the biggest being Valspeak. Like totally! I dont think Valley girls talk like that anymore, right?

What was even more impressive about this film was that it was shot in 22 days and only cost $350,000 but grossed over $17 million representing a massive 2000% return according to Wikipedia and Fast-Rewind.com.

So a movie about the Valley is going to obviously be filmed in the Valley. One surprising revelation is that the mall shots were not of the Sherman Oaks Galleria but rather the Del Amo Fashion Center Mall. I was rather shocked to hear about this although I read at Fast-Rewind.com that the escalator scenes shot in the film were from the Sherman Oaks Galleria if that's any consolation. The film was also shot in West Hills (party house shown below), Sherman Oaks (Julie Richman's house, the Health Food store, the old Sherman theater), and Studio City (Du-Pars Restaurant and Harvard Westlake). The rest of the shots are mostly in Hollywood. See images below for screenshots.

In addition to the Film, the soundtrack is kick ass which featured a lot of up and coming new wave artists like The Plimsouls, Josie Cotton, Men At Work, and Modern English. 

This might be a girly film but from a historical perspective, it was truly emblematic of the 1980's Valley lifestyle and culture which was maybe when the Valley reached its peak. Here is what Kevin Roderick had to say about the teenager Valley culture in his popular book, America's Suburb: The San Fernando Valley:
Time magazine reported that from Tarzana to Tarrytown, every parent with a teenaged daughter spent the summer fretting: Is she one? The answer was yes for millions of girls who aspired to the style and sensibility of a few San Fernando Valley teenagers. Teen magazine declared that the Valley Girl style was a trendsetter in schools and shopping malls. The style was "cute:" mini-skirts, headbands, anklets and ruffles, feathered haircuts, waxed legs and manicured nails. The phenomenon had enough power that, even though the look faded long ago, the reputation of Valley Girls as airheads lives on. Not surprisingly, the put-down is not appreciated in the place where it all started. (Page 178)
I recommend visiting the itsfilmedthere.com website for filming locations and movie shots. Also, check the Youtube videos at the bottom.

The intro starts with overlooking LA panning over the Hollywood sign and into the Valley. Also in the intro is a shot of the Sherman Oaks Galleria. 


The party house is at 23727 Posey Lane West Hills (back then it was Canoga Park). This home is where Suzi lives along with her stepmother, Beth. I believe the backyard was also used in this film which has a swimming pool. In that shot, you can see the hills in the background which have now been developed into homes.










I am not sure where this is located but looks like the Valley around Sepulveda or Mulholland Drive possibly near the 405.

Julie Richman's house was located at 3907 Dixie Canyon Blvd Sherman Oaks.



The drivers training location is unknown but definitely appears to be a school possibly in the Valley.



 Julie Richmans parent's Health Food store at 14543 Ventura Blvd Sherman Oaks.


Du-Par's Restaurant at 12036 Ventura Blvd Studio City.






In the middle of the film, Julie and Randy are seen walking down the street where various business signs are shown.  
I dont know where this is and I believe it has been torn down.
Casa Vega Restaurant at 13301 Ventura Blvd Sherman Oaks
I believe this was located at 5248 Van Nuys Blvd Van Nuys which no longer exists.
I believe this was located at 15945 Ventura Blvd Encino which no longer exists.
I am not sure of this location and I am assuming it has been torn down.
Du-par's Restaurant as mentioned above.

Sherman Oaks Theatre at 15052 Ventura Blvd Sherman Oaks which has been demolished.
 Towards the end of the movie showing the Sherman Theatre.


 Overlooking the Valley but not sure of the location, probably Mulholland Drive.


The Prom at Harvard Westlake at The Taper Athletic Pavilion 3700 Coldwater Canyon Avenue Studio City



At the end of the film, Randy and Julie take off in the limo. The shot below looks like its from Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks but there are no Denny's in the area today so its either torn down or I am way off on this location.

The last scene is the Sherman Oaks Galleria as the limo hops onto the 405 Freeway. 


One other thing there is word of a Musical remake by Paramount-MGM by Clay Weiner sometime in 2012. Who would have imagined that?

So grab a copy and relive your 80's hairstyle, clothing, and Valspeak!





I took this photo in 1982 in the Canoga Park area of the San Fernando Valley (now called West Hills, CA) right after the song "Valley Girl" sung by Frank Zappa’s 14 year old daughter, Moon Unit Zappa, was released. Someone had climbed the pole and changed the sign "Valley Cir" for Valley Circle Blvd to "Valley Girl." This was before photoshop! I never found out who did it, but it was pretty funny. 

Here are the song and the lyrics in "valspeak" www.liketotally80s.com/valley-girl-zappa-song.html
valley girl 1982

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Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

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