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Filming Locations: Boogie Nights (1997)

Boogie Nights is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Set in Los AngelesSan Fernando Valley, the script focuses on a young nightclub dishwasher, Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), who becomes a popular star of pornographic films, chronicling his rise in the Golden Age of Porn of the 1970s through his fall during the excesses of the 1980s. The film also features cameos by porn actresses Nina Hartley (as Little Bill's promiscuous wife) and Veronica Hart (as the custody hearing judge for Amber Waves' court case). The film was an expansion of Anderson's short film The Dirk Diggler Story(1988). (Wikipedia)

At first glance, this movie might seem like a mini-porn film but it is actually a great film by Paul Thomas Anderson (PTA) incorporating numerous themes all intertwined in one that won numerous awards for PTA as well as many of the stars most notably Burt Reynolds and Julianne Moore. PTA does a great job of using long continuous un-cut scenes to capture the audience's attention and create dramatic and riveting scenes. 

Surprisingly or not, PTA is from the SFV who was raised in Studio City and now calls Tarzana home. In each of his films (see Magnolia filming locations here), he attempts to use the SFV for his filming locations when possible which makes him a "keeping it real" type of guy if that sentence makes sense. Its probably no coincidence that his first major film was about porn in the 70's and 80's which was based in the SFV. This movie looks truly authentic capturing the style and culture of the 70's and 80's SFV and mentions various spots of the SFV in the film like Canoga, Reseda, and CSUN. This is one of the few great movies about the SFV like Valley Girl and 2 Days In The Valley which put the SFV on the map and I deeply respect and appreciate PTA's work for recognizing the SFV. 

The locations of this film have already been found at other wonderful websites and this post wouldnt be possible without their excellent research so please check them out which also include non-SFV locations.
  1. Movie Locations and More
  2. The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations
  3. Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles
  4. IMDB
  5. Fan map page
While a majority of this film was shot in the SFV, I was disappointed to learn that Jack Horner's house played by Burt Reynolds was filmed in Covina and Dirk Diggler's childhood home played by Mark Whalberg was filmed in Torrance which I imagine were both chosen because it was difficult to find what these homes offered in the SFV.

You can view more SFV filming locations here

The Reseda Cinema is located at 18447 Sherman Way Reseda 91335. This theatre has unfortunately been closed for a long time with no major current plans. 

The Hot Traxx Disco is located at 18419 Sherman Way Reseda 91335 which is Iglesia Cristiana Nuevo Empezar today and was previously the Reseda Country Club that was a popular venue for numerous Rock N Roll legends like Nirvana, Metallica, and Tom Petty to name a few. 

The stereo store where Buck Swopes works at in the beginning of the film and then later starts his own Bucks Super Cool Stereo Store is located at 9043 Woodman Avenue Arleta 91331. This location was actually filmed in the back parking lot and not in the front facing Woodman which appears to have been heavily modified just for filming. 

Dupar's Restaurant is located at 12036 Ventura Blvd Studio City 91604 which has also been used for Valley Girl (is this a surprise?)

The Pussycat Theatre was located at 1442 2nd St Santa Monica according to Scott Mumford in the comments below. I was hoping this theater was located at the Park Pussycat at 21522 Sherman Way near Owensmouth in Canoga Park but considering that tje site was shut down after the 1994 Northridge earthquake makes sense that it was not used in the film. Although I am highly confident that PTA would have used that location if it was still existing because after all it was in the SFV. You can read a lengthy article about the Pussycat Chain from the San Diego Reader as well as the LA Theatres page. The Canoga Park Pussycat was built in 1926 with a built-in Robert Morton pipe organ and started showing nudie films in 1966. 

Dirk's new house is located 4214 Lobos Road Woodland Hills 91364. This house is located south of Ventura Blvd and seems fitting for a newly minted porn star.

The documentary film about Dirk Diggler where he is standing on the bridge and LA River is located at 4030 Colfax Avenue near Ventura Blvd in Studio City. The LA River is widely used in films including Terminator 2, Drive, and Innerspace to name a few.

The scene where Dirk Diggler is recording music in the studio mentions Sound City Recording Studios. I am not sure if this was filmed in a studio or the actual Sound City Studios in Van Nuys. If this were real, then that would be an amazing tribute to the Sound City Studios which was recently made famous by Dave Grohl for the recent documentary he created. Considering this film was made in the mid-90's, there were probably very few people who knew about this studio except for those in the industry. 

Jack Horner's porn warehouse is an actual porn company warehouse called Gourmet Video in Van Nuys but I was not able to find the address location.

The amazing scene where Dirk Diggler gets beat up is at St. Catherine's of Siena Church at 18115 Sherman Way Reseda 91335. And not too far where Buck Swope buys a dozen donuts and later turns into a murder scene with Buck walking away with a bag of cash is located at 18231 Sherman Way Reseda 91335. This is one of the best scenes in the movie. 

Dirk Diggler and gang plan the drug deal at the motel which is El Royale Motel at 11117 Ventura Blvd Studio City 91604. 

The Drug Dealer's house is located at 16801 Encino Hills Drive Encino 91436.

After the Drug Dealer confrontation, Dirk's is pushed down the street which appears to be somewhere in the SFV but not exactly sure. It looks like the tall stacks in the background might be the Sun Valley Power Plant but cant confirm.

And the filming trailers:

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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.

9 comments to ''Filming Locations: Boogie Nights (1997)"

  1. Awesome post!

    I, too, have been wondering where that post-drug-deal sunrise shot is (with the two towers). I don't think it's the Sun Valley power plant--it has FOUR towers.

    In the original script, Dirk ends up a couple of block from his parents house, post-drug-deal. Since that house is in Torrance--and the Exxon Mobile refinery is (literally) down the street, I wonder if this location is in that neighborhood somewhere?

    1. HI Wilberfan.

      Good observation. Cant be Sun Valley because of the 4 towers. But I am at a loss because of the lack of details in the shot to confirm. Its possible those towers are from a factory and not a power plant. Let me know if you ever find it.

  2. I found the Pussycat Theater (with the "Spanish Pantalones") marquee from BN:

    The old brick building to the right is,

    "Rapp Saloon, the oldest building in Santa Monica (1875) and its first landmark. As well as a saloon, it functioned as storage space for Vitagraph (which had a building next door), and as city hall. Now it’s a part of the hostel behind it, and used for poetry readings."

    You can see the young couple ran past it for a few frames in BN...

    The theater was demolished in 1999 (3 years after BN's Summer, 1996 shooting schedule.)

  3. Hey, Marty...speaking of Boogie Nights shooting locations... Do you have any resources that would reveal some of the more *obscure* locations? For example, Buck's bank, the shoe store, Rollergirl's classroom(s), Amber's court hearing room, the hair salon, all the 16mm rooftop/alley Brock Landers footage, etc, etc, etc...? (I recently found the 'imported Italian nylon" clothing store.)

    I'd love to find the obscure/interior-only locations to round out my BN Location Collection! ;-)

  4. I found an old listing from 1985 for a "Gourmet Video Collection" at 12011 Sherman Rd, North Hollywood.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Well, that Sherman Rd address was NOT the location for the warehouse used in the film. Turns out it's actually 10 minutes West of there near Woodman. They wouldn't let me take any photos (really nice guy called the boss, though, to ask). The employees were pretty stoked that a movie they'd heard of was filmed there.

      The office hallway (where Jack looks in on Kurt) is absolutely unchanged from 20 years ago! Amazing. Literally the only thing different is the posters on the wall. Instantly recognizable.

      Needless to say, it's no longer Gourmet Video... (It IS motion-picture related, however!)

      Now, the bank, the classrooms ...

    3. Thanks Scott for finding the locations. Are you in a position to share the Porn Warehouse location?

  5. I will--but let's let it breathe a little. I'm discovering that some (not all) of the current businesses are a little hinkey about letting civilians see what things look like inside. I'm also hoping there might be a microscopic chance they might change their minds about letting me photograph at LEAST the hallway. Stay tuned.


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