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Courtesy of Everett Collection

‘Boogie Nights’ filming locations, mapped

The Valley is a big, bright shining star

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In the cinema of the early- to mid-1980s, the San Fernando Valley was depicted as a cultural dead zone of gargantuan shopping malls, Valley girls, and sedate tract housing, but the image was essentially innocent. Valley adolescents stayed out past their bedtimes, occasionally smoked too much pot and even had sex, but they were essentially good kids.

Then we met Rollergirl.

In 1997, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights flipped the Valley’s image on its head by filling its backyard swimming pools not with sex-crazed teens but with literal sex workers. The film recast the region as a XXX-rated playground for youth rebelling against their dysfunctional home lives by diving into the deep end of on-camera infamy.

Anderson is a Valley native who came of age during the “Valley Girl” phenomenon of the early ’80s. Boogie Nights is the first and arguably the greatest film in his so-called “Valley trilogy,” which also includes Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love.

Like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which the director gobbled up at the Sherman Oaks Galleria as a 12-year-old, it establishes a strong sense of the Valley landscape. Unlike that film, it plunges into the region’s dark underbelly.

Now, 20 years after the film first hit theaters, we’re taking you on a tour of its shooting locations with the help of veteran production designer Bob Ziembicki. Rollerskates optional. (Note: Some of the locations listed are private residences, so please be respectful.)

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1. The Reseda Theater

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18443 Sherman Way
Reseda, CA 91335

The Reseda Theater’s iconic blue marquee is featured in Boogie Nights’ famous opening Steadicam shot, which swoops down Sherman Way directly into Hot Traxx Disco. By the time the production came along, the establishment had been shuttered for nearly a decade, necessitating a facelift.

“Obviously the theater was deserted, so [we had to re-do] the marquee in the front,” says Ziembicki. The spatial demands of Anderson’s ambitious tracking shots made the theater especially appealing given its proximity to a number of other locations. “We lucked out that that stretch of Sherman Way had all of those elements,” Ziembicki says.

2. Hot Traxx Disco

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18419 Sherman Way
Reseda, CA 91335

The disco where future “Dirk Diggler” Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) is discovered by porn producer Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) was formerly known as the Reseda Country Club. In its ’80s’ heyday, the venue hosted such big-name rock acts as Guns N' Roses, Slayer, and Iggy Pop, but by the time Boogie Nights went into production, it was on its last legs.

"That building as I recall was in the middle of being sold, so it was kind of deserted and ready [for filming]," says Ziembicki, who notes Anderson quickly oriented himself to the space. "When he walked into the club, he knew exactly what he wanted that shot to be and the geography of that.”

Dirk dancing inside Hot Traxx.
Courtesy of Everett Collection

3. Jack Horner’s house

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19515 E Cameron Ave
West Covina, CA 91791

The location that gets the most screen time is Horner’s sprawling house and sparkling backyard swimming pool, though ironically, the 4,000-square-foot abode is located in a different Valley entirely.

As Ziembicki tells it, the production had resigned themselves to shooting at another home when Anderson pulled a photo of the West Covina residence from the “reject box.” Once they scouted the interior, its period-perfect details sold them immediately.

“Those people had bought that house in the ’70s, the same period as our movie, and they didn't have that much money,” he says. “So that's why it was kind of in a time warp.” Though the house itself required very little work prior to shooting, the pool got a serious makeover. “[It] was in bad shape,” he adds. “It was cracked, we had a big reno[vation] and we resealed it, et cetera. And then we put the hot tub in, of course.”

4. Eddie Adams’ house

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3503 187th St
Torrance, CA 90504

“Paul really wanted it to be in Torrance,” says Ziembicki of the modest South Bay home where Eddie lives with his parents. “There [were] a lot of power lines, and it had a look that he really wanted.”

Like the residence used for Horner’s swanky pad, the home didn’t require much more than a paint job. But Anderson had very definite ideas about the look of Eddie’s bedroom. “Paul was very specific about the things he wanted, the posters that we put up to kind of sell who he was,” says Ziembicki.

Eddie/Dirk’s childhood room.
Courtesy of Everett Collection

5. Du-par’s Restaurant & Bakery

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12036 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

The Studio City Du-par’s where Jack lays out his grandiose art-porn vision didn’t require much work on Ziembicki’s part, and that was lucky given that they only had a night to shoot there. “Because it's very period-looking, it was pretty much a walk-in location,” he says of the restaurant, which was also featured in Martha Coolidge’s 1983 teen flick Valley Girl.

6. The Pussycat Theater

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1442 2nd St
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Spanish Pantalones graces the marquee at the Santa Monica Pussycat Theater, one of the few locations to take Anderson and company outside the Valley. Like Jack Horner’s film business, the theater was wiped out by video and finally closed in 1998. It was subsequently converted into a restaurant space that first hosted a Bucca di Beppo and now houses the popular eatery North Italia.

A close-up of the Pussycat Theater marquee as seen in the movie.
Screengrab

7. Dirk Diggler’s house

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4214 Lobos Rd
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

After becoming a star, Dirk moves into this groovy house in Woodland Hills, which happens to be the final residence on a dead-end street (how’s that for a metaphor?). “That was like a one-day shoot,” says Ziembicki. “It was a really busy day getting that set together, and then I think we did [scenes of] driving around in the Corvette that same day.” Property records show it was built in 1977, but it looks like it has been thoroughly remodeled.

The house Dirk buys after becoming famous.
Via LA Mag

8. Sound City Studios

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15464 Cabrito Rd
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(818) 304-0573
Visit Website

Dirk’s doomed attempt to become a pop star goes down at Sound City in Van Nuys, where far more gifted singers, including Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, and Kurt Cobain all recorded landmark albums.

“The idea that it was a real recording studio I remember was a real plus, so [it allowed us] to minimize what we had to do,” says Ziembicki.  

Just a few legendary records have been recorded here #Nirvana

A post shared by Charlie B. Wilder (@chuckwild) on

9. Miss Donuts

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18231 Sherman Way
Reseda, CA 91335
(818) 609-0169

The scene where Buck (Don Cheadle) is caught in the center of a robbery-turned-triple-homicide was filmed at Miss Donuts in Reseda, which still exists today. Given Anderson’s mandate to find locations within close proximity to one another, securing the donut shop was imperative, though it wasn’t easy to get.

“[The owner] gave us all kinds of problems renting that location,” says Ziembicki. “But it was obviously key, because as you remember, everything kind of connects on that street.”

Indeed, the shop is located on the same stretch of Sherman Way as Hot Traxx, the Reseda Theater, and even the sidewalk where Jack and Rollergirl (Heather Graham) beat her former high school classmate.

10. El Royale Motel

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11117 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

Since upgraded to the El Royale Hotel, this cozy roadside inn located on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City is where Todd (Thomas Jane) ropes Dirk and Reed (John C. Reilly) into his boneheaded drug-dealing scam. The motel was only used for an establishing shot; according to Ziembicki, the rooms were “really tiny” and not suitable for filming.

11. Rahad Jackson’s house

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16804 Encino Hills Dr
Encino, CA 91436

Though the production originally secured a different pad for Alfred Molina’s gun-happy drug dealer, a certain Star Trek actor put the kibosh on that location before filming commenced.

“It was close to William Shatner's house,” says Ziembicki, who built the interior used for the blood-spattered scene. “And he said, 'No way you're gonna shoot night exteriors around my house.' So they shut us down and we had to quickly find another location.”

Amateur location scouts be warned: If you’re thinking of driving to Encino to see the home that was eventually used, save your gas money. It has since been torn down.

The exterior of the insane drug dealer’s house.
Screengrab

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1. The Reseda Theater

18443 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335

The Reseda Theater’s iconic blue marquee is featured in Boogie Nights’ famous opening Steadicam shot, which swoops down Sherman Way directly into Hot Traxx Disco. By the time the production came along, the establishment had been shuttered for nearly a decade, necessitating a facelift.

“Obviously the theater was deserted, so [we had to re-do] the marquee in the front,” says Ziembicki. The spatial demands of Anderson’s ambitious tracking shots made the theater especially appealing given its proximity to a number of other locations. “We lucked out that that stretch of Sherman Way had all of those elements,” Ziembicki says.

18443 Sherman Way
Reseda, CA 91335

2. Hot Traxx Disco

18419 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335
Dirk dancing inside Hot Traxx.
Courtesy of Everett Collection

The disco where future “Dirk Diggler” Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) is discovered by porn producer Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) was formerly known as the Reseda Country Club. In its ’80s’ heyday, the venue hosted such big-name rock acts as Guns N' Roses, Slayer, and Iggy Pop, but by the time Boogie Nights went into production, it was on its last legs.

"That building as I recall was in the middle of being sold, so it was kind of deserted and ready [for filming]," says Ziembicki, who notes Anderson quickly oriented himself to the space. "When he walked into the club, he knew exactly what he wanted that shot to be and the geography of that.”

18419 Sherman Way
Reseda, CA 91335

3. Jack Horner’s house

19515 E Cameron Ave, West Covina, CA 91791

The location that gets the most screen time is Horner’s sprawling house and sparkling backyard swimming pool, though ironically, the 4,000-square-foot abode is located in a different Valley entirely.

As Ziembicki tells it, the production had resigned themselves to shooting at another home when Anderson pulled a photo of the West Covina residence from the “reject box.” Once they scouted the interior, its period-perfect details sold them immediately.

“Those people had bought that house in the ’70s, the same period as our movie, and they didn't have that much money,” he says. “So that's why it was kind of in a time warp.” Though the house itself required very little work prior to shooting, the pool got a serious makeover. “[It] was in bad shape,” he adds. “It was cracked, we had a big reno[vation] and we resealed it, et cetera. And then we put the hot tub in, of course.”

19515 E Cameron Ave
West Covina, CA 91791

4. Eddie Adams’ house

3503 187th St, Torrance, CA 90504
Eddie/Dirk’s childhood room.
Courtesy of Everett Collection

“Paul really wanted it to be in Torrance,” says Ziembicki of the modest South Bay home where Eddie lives with his parents. “There [were] a lot of power lines, and it had a look that he really wanted.”

Like the residence used for Horner’s swanky pad, the home didn’t require much more than a paint job. But Anderson had very definite ideas about the look of Eddie’s bedroom. “Paul was very specific about the things he wanted, the posters that we put up to kind of sell who he was,” says Ziembicki.

3503 187th St
Torrance, CA 90504

5. Du-par’s Restaurant & Bakery

12036 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

The Studio City Du-par’s where Jack lays out his grandiose art-porn vision didn’t require much work on Ziembicki’s part, and that was lucky given that they only had a night to shoot there. “Because it's very period-looking, it was pretty much a walk-in location,” he says of the restaurant, which was also featured in Martha Coolidge’s 1983 teen flick Valley Girl.

12036 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

6. The Pussycat Theater

1442 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401
A close-up of the Pussycat Theater marquee as seen in the movie.
Screengrab

Spanish Pantalones graces the marquee at the Santa Monica Pussycat Theater, one of the few locations to take Anderson and company outside the Valley. Like Jack Horner’s film business, the theater was wiped out by video and finally closed in 1998. It was subsequently converted into a restaurant space that first hosted a Bucca di Beppo and now houses the popular eatery North Italia.

1442 2nd St
Santa Monica, CA 90401

7. Dirk Diggler’s house

4214 Lobos Rd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
The house Dirk buys after becoming famous.
Via LA Mag

After becoming a star, Dirk moves into this groovy house in Woodland Hills, which happens to be the final residence on a dead-end street (how’s that for a metaphor?). “That was like a one-day shoot,” says Ziembicki. “It was a really busy day getting that set together, and then I think we did [scenes of] driving around in the Corvette that same day.” Property records show it was built in 1977, but it looks like it has been thoroughly remodeled.

4214 Lobos Rd
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

8. Sound City Studios

15464 Cabrito Rd, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Dirk’s doomed attempt to become a pop star goes down at Sound City in Van Nuys, where far more gifted singers, including Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, and Kurt Cobain all recorded landmark albums.

“The idea that it was a real recording studio I remember was a real plus, so [it allowed us] to minimize what we had to do,” says Ziembicki.  

15464 Cabrito Rd
Van Nuys, CA 91406

9. Miss Donuts

18231 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335

The scene where Buck (Don Cheadle) is caught in the center of a robbery-turned-triple-homicide was filmed at Miss Donuts in Reseda, which still exists today. Given Anderson’s mandate to find locations within close proximity to one another, securing the donut shop was imperative, though it wasn’t easy to get.

“[The owner] gave us all kinds of problems renting that location,” says Ziembicki. “But it was obviously key, because as you remember, everything kind of connects on that street.”

Indeed, the shop is located on the same stretch of Sherman Way as Hot Traxx, the Reseda Theater, and even the sidewalk where Jack and Rollergirl (Heather Graham) beat her former high school classmate.

18231 Sherman Way
Reseda, CA 91335

10. El Royale Motel

11117 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Since upgraded to the El Royale Hotel, this cozy roadside inn located on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City is where Todd (Thomas Jane) ropes Dirk and Reed (John C. Reilly) into his boneheaded drug-dealing scam. The motel was only used for an establishing shot; according to Ziembicki, the rooms were “really tiny” and not suitable for filming.

11117 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

11. Rahad Jackson’s house

16804 Encino Hills Dr, Encino, CA 91436
The exterior of the insane drug dealer’s house.
Screengrab

Though the production originally secured a different pad for Alfred Molina’s gun-happy drug dealer, a certain Star Trek actor put the kibosh on that location before filming commenced.

“It was close to William Shatner's house,” says Ziembicki, who built the interior used for the blood-spattered scene. “And he said, 'No way you're gonna shoot night exteriors around my house.' So they shut us down and we had to quickly find another location.”

Amateur location scouts be warned: If you’re thinking of driving to Encino to see the home that was eventually used, save your gas money. It has since been torn down.

16804 Encino Hills Dr
Encino, CA 91436