Paul Thomas Anderson’s L.A. Love Affair

The Valley native sticks close to home when filming his many movies. These local establishments star in his oeuvre
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It has been said that authors should write what they know. Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson does. The native Angeleno, who is often described as a wunderkind, resides in Tarzana, and his screenplays rarely stray far from his own backyard. Almost all of his features have been set and lensed in Los Angeles, and mostly in the Valley. His latest, Inherent Vice, which hits theatres January 9th, makes use of Pasadena’s former Ambassador College campus, the Arrowhead Springs Resort in San Bernardino, and a warehouse in Chinatown. These seven other locales pop up in his past films:

1. Greystone Mansion

Though lensed largely in Texas, Anderson’s 2007 period drama There Will Be Blood utilized the interior of Greystone Mansion, one of Beverly Hills’ most famous and historic residences, as the home of millionaire oilman Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis). The gargantuan property, which is located at 905 Loma Vista Drive., was built by oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny as a gift to his son in 1927. Anderson had the manse’s two-lane bowling alley, which had long since been covered over and was being used as a storage room, renovated and restored to its original grandeur to shoot the film’s climactic final scene.

A screen capture from "There Will Be Blood"
A screen capture from “There Will Be Blood”

2. Eckhart Auto Body

In the 2002 dramedy Punch-Drunk Love, Adam Sandler operates a novelty toilet plunger company—and stores copious amounts of Healthy Choice pudding—in a warehouse located behind Eckhart Auto Body (which appears as itself in the flick) at 10101 Canoga Avenue. in Chatsworth. Both the interior and exterior of the warehouse were used extensively in the filming. (See it in real life)

A screen capture from "Punk Drunk Love"
A screen capture from “Punk Drunk Love”

3. Le Petit Chateau

Towards the middle of Punch-Drunk Love, Sandler gets kicked out of Le Petit Chateau, one of the Valley’s most historic restaurants, for destroying the men’s bathroom in a fit of rage while out on a date with Emily Watson. The North Hollywood landmark eatery has been serving upscale French cuisine in the same castle-shaped corner building at 4615 Lankershim Boulevard since it opened in 1962. (See it in real life)

A screen capture from "Punch Drunk Love"
A screen capture from “Punch Drunk Love”

4. LA Popular Home Furnishings

In the 1999 drama Magnolia (which was named in honor of Magnolia Boulevard, one of the Valley’s most prominent streets), Officer Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly) catches Donnie Smith (William H. Macy) breaking into the fictional “Solomon & Solomon” electronics shop. That storefront, which houses LA Popular Home Furnishings in real life, can be found at 7222 Reseda Boulevard in Reseda. While attempting to turn his car around to investigate the situation, Kurring gets caught in a surreal deluge of raining frogs. That bit was shot just south of LA Popular, on the 7100 block of Reseda Boulevard.

A screen capture from "Magnolia"
A screen capture from “Magnolia”

5. North Hollywood Medical Center

During Magnolia’s frog-raining scene, an ambulance carrying Linda Partridge (Julianne Moore) skids its way across Riverside Drive before overturning in front of the now-defunct North Hollywood Medical Center, formerly located at 12629 Riverside. A working hospital from 1952 to 1998, the building was utilized solely for filming after its closure until it was demolished in 2011. The triangular-shaped Best Western Mikado Hotel that is visible in the scene still stands across the street at 12600 Riverside. (See it in real life)

A screen capture from "Magnolia"
A screen capture from “Magnolia”

6. Dirk Diggler’s New House

At the beginning of Boogie Nights, Anderson’s tale of L.A.’s pornography industry in the ‘70s and ‘80s, main character Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) is shown living with his parents in a one-story house located at 3503 W. 187thin Torrance and leading a rather modest existence. Upon meeting his mentor, Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), and becoming famous, Dirk trades up and buys an arresting sloped-roof residence located at 4214 Lobos Road in Woodland Hills, complete with monogramed drapes and a custom-made, imported Italian leather couch. (See it in real life)
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7. El Royale Motel

By the end of Boogie Nights, Dirk has fallen on hard times and cements plans while in Room 11 of the seedy El Royale Motel with his pals Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly) and Todd Parker (Thomas Jane) to scam a drug dealer out of money. The El Royale, which played itself in the 1997 hit and is located at 11117 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, was built in 1937 as part of a chain of budget roadside hotels and consists of 15 small bungalows, each with its own entrance and carport, situated around a central cement courtyard. (See if in real life)
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Lindsay Blake is an actress, writer, celebrity admirer and Los Angeles enthusiast who contributes to CityThink each Thursday. Her true love is filming locations, and she founded the Web site IAMNOTASTALKER in 2007 to document her vast findings on the subject. For more “stalking” fun, you can follow Lindsay on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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