Hard Eight (1996)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s underappreciated 1996 debut film, “Hard Eight” (a.k.a. “Sydney”) filmed primarily in Reno, Nevada.

The restaurant seen at the beginning and end of the film, where Sydney, played by Philip Baker Hall, meets John, played John C. Reilly, who is sitting outside the doorway, was filmed at Jack’s Cafe in Sparks, Nevada, located just outside of Reno.

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LOCATION: 2200 Victorian Ave, Sparks, NV 89431

The entrance where John C. Reilly is sitting is not the main entrance to the restaurant.  In fact, it’s a side door with an emergency exit sign.  There were several homeless people around this area.

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Things take a turn for the worse when John and Clementine, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, find themselves involved in a hostage situation at a motel.  The motel is the Ace Motor Lodge in Reno.  The motel has changed quite a bit from how it appeared in the film and is now more dilapidated.

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LOCATION: 222 N Sierra St, Reno, NV 89501

John can be seen exiting through the front entrance.  The surrounding area has also changed quite a bit from what was seen in the film, as the casinos are no longer beside the motel.

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Near the end of the film, Sydney awaits Jimmy, played by Samuel L. Jackson, at his house.

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LOCATION: 756 W 6th St, Reno, NV 89503

Related articles: Boogie Nights (1997)Magnolia (1999)Punch-Drunk Love (2002)There Will Be Blood (2007)The Master (2012)Inherent Vice (2014)

The Master (2012)

Admiration for Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2012 film “The Master” has steadily grown since the film’s release.  The mystique of the movie initially left audiences a bit puzzled, but with time, many have begun to admire it’s nuances and now consider it one of the filmmaker’s finest works.  The film was shot primarily around Northern California, with a couple scenes also being filmed in Hawaii and Nevada.

Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix, meets “The Master” Lancaster Dodd, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, as he sneaks aboard Dodd’s boat as a stowaway.  That boat is the USS Potomac, which is docked in Oakland, California.  You can actually take tours aboard the boat.

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LOCATION: 540 Water St, Oakland, CA 94607

A view of the back of the boat.  The production added a canopy to the upper deck, where guests were seen dancing when Freddie first approaches.

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Another, wider view of the USS Potomac, where it regularly docks.

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Freddie is seen visiting his sweetheart, Doris, at this house in Crockett, California.  The house has since received a paint job.

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LOCATION: 619 Winslow St, Crockett, CA 94525

A full view of the home, though it is never seen from this angle in the film.  It sits perched on a steep hilltop of a very narrow, one way road overlooking a lake.

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The Master’s house can be a bit tricky to find, which we’ll attempt to better pinpoint.  The house is known as the Captain’s Mansion, a former event space on Mare Island in Vallejo, California.  The first challenge is that many houses spanning several blocks on this street look almost identical and are used for similar purposes.  There are subtle differences from house to house, however, be it minor architectural variations, trees and shrubs, views in the background, etc., which do allow for identifying the exact home from the film, which is located at 822 Walnut Ave.  The second challenge is that GPS may not take you to that correct location.  To get exactly to “The Master” house, make sure you arrive at the intersection of Walnut Ave and 8th St on Mare Island and you’ll successfully find house 822 from the film.  The house number can be seen on the front steps.

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LOCATION: 822 Walnut Ave, Vallejo, CA 94592 (near Walnut Ave and 8th St)

Related articles: Hard Eight (1996)Boogie Nights (1997)Magnolia (1999)Punch-Drunk Love (2002)There Will Be Blood (2007)Inherent Vice (2014)

Magnolia (1999)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 film, “Magnolia,” named after a street that spans the San Fernando Valley, was shot mostly, as you might expect, around the Valley.  However, in the opening “coincidences” sequence, there is a memorable scene in which an attempted suicide becomes an accidental homicide.  That scene was shot at the Bryson Apartments in Los Angeles.  The same apartments were seen in the film “The Grifters.”

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LOCATION: 2701 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Early in the film, Quiz Kid Donnie Smith, played by William H. Macy, crashes his car into this liquor store in Winnetka.  The same liquor store also appeared in Kevin Smith’s “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.”

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LOCATION: 20001 Roscoe Blvd, Winnetka, CA 91306

Officer Jim Kurring, played by John C. Reilly, investigates a crime scene at this apartment complex in North Hills.  As he walks back to his police car, he is approached by a young boy.

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LOCATION: 15150 Parthenia St ,North Hills, CA 91343

As the two stand on Burnet Ave, the boy performs a rap for him.

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Donnie visits the Foxfire Room, located on the titular Magnolia Blvd in Valley Village.  In a slight bit of movie trickery, Donnie parks in the lot at the rear of the building, but is seen entering through the door facing the street on opposite side.

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LOCATION: 12516 W Magnolia Blvd, Valley Village, CA 91607

The Firefox Room is a staple of the San Fernando Valley and in the two decades since filming took place, it still looks nearly identical.  The bar opens at 7AM daily and it’s dark and inconspicuous.  Yet the staff is friendly and the vibe is welcoming.  Donnie enters through the door on the right.

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Donnie sits at this corner booth.  The lighting in the bar is so dark, any brightness quickly overexposes a shot, so photography can be a challenge inside.

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He sits and admires Brad the bartender.

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Donnie then sits at the corner of the bar and talks to a mysterious older man, credited as Thurston Howell.

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Late in the film, as a biblical storm hits, Officer Jim finds himself at the intersection of Reseda Blvd and Sherman Way in Reseda.  This is located right beside the “Hot Traxx” night club from “Boogie Nights.”

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LOCATION: Sherman Way / Reseda Blvd, Reseda, CA 91335

He makes an emergency stop at a gas station, only see Donnie climbing on a pole, where he has just attempted to rob his workplace.  Donnie then falls to the ground.  The pole and payphone are both still standing at the location.

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LOCATION: 7222 Reseda Blvd, Reseda, CA 91335

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The two take shelter at the gas station.

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LOCATION: 7208 Reseda Blvd, Reseda, CA 91335

Related articles: Hard Eight (1996)Boogie Nights (1997)Punch-Drunk Love (2002)There Will Be Blood (2007)The Master (2012)Inherent Vice (2014)

Inherent Vice (2014)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2014 adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel, “Inherent Vice,” shot all over Southern California.  Much of it is set in the fictional town of Gordita Beach.  These scenes were actually shot in Manhattan Beach, which is worth checking out if you’re interested in beautiful ocean views, without the crowds of such places as Santa Monica or Venice Beach.

This shot, seen at both the beginning, as well the end of the film, is overlooking Manhattan Beach and a scenic walkway called The Strand.  However, the shot is actually taken from Ocean Drive, one block up, at the intersection of Seaview Street.

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LOCATION: 4210 The Strand, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (this exact shot is from behind the house, on Ocean Drive at Seaview Street, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, looking out towards the water)

Doc, played by Joaquin Phoenix, lives in this house,  which is close to the above shot.  The house was mostly used for interiors in the film, but the exterior can also briefly be seen.

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LOCATION: 214 El Porto St, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Doc follows leads on the mysterious Golden Fang boat, which is believed to bring in drugs, as well as having carried Shasta, played by Katherine Waterston, on board the last time it sailed.  The schooner is seen in darkness, off in the distance in the film.  The actual boat is the Tallship American Pride, which can be found at the Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, California.  The boat is located at Dock 3, though it does sometimes set sail into the waters.  If you’re unfamiliar with this area of Long Beach, just search for Gladstone’s Restaurant (330 S Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802) or Toyko Wako (310 Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802) at the Long Beach Pike.  The pier and the boat are located directly behind them.

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LOCATION: Rainbow Harbor, Dock 3, Long Beach, CA 90802

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Later in the film, Doc pays a visit to Bigfoot, played by Josh Brolin, at the old Los Angeles Police Department in downtown Los Angeles.  As he’s approaching the building, an officer bumps into him, knocking him to the ground.

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LOCATION: 150 N Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

One of the most memorable scenes in the film is a flashback sequence, when Doc and Shasta get caught in the rain, while Neil Young’s “Journey Through the Past” plays.  This song was a major inspiration for the film and Doc’s look was even modeled after a 1970s photograph of Neil Young.  The scene was shot in Pomona, Californa, about an hour east of Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 406 W 2nd St, Pomona, CA 91766

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Related articles: Hard Eight (1996)Boogie Nights (1997)Magnolia (1999)Punch-Drunk Love (2002)There Will Be Blood (2007)The Master (2012)

Boogie Nights (1997)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic portrayal of the 1970s and 1980s porn industry, “Boogie Nights,” was shot all around Southern California, but like many of his early works, was primarily based around the San Fernando Valley.

The opening shot of the Reseda Theater can be found on Sherman Way in Reseda, California.  The theater has long since closed, but plans are underway to reopen the property as a mutiplex.

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LOCATION: 18443 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335

Just down the street is the “Hot Traxx” nightclub, which is now a church.  Also right around the corner is the workplace of Quiz Kid Donnie Smith in “Magnolia.”

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LOCATION: 18419 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335

Dirk Diggler’s parents’ house is located far south of the Valley, down in Torrance, California.

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LOCATION: 3503 187th St, Torrance, CA 90504

Jack Horner takes Dirk out for a meal with Amber Waves and Rollergirl at Du-Pars Restaurant and Bakery in Studio City.  The restaurant has undergone renovations since the film was shot and looks a bit different these days.

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LOCATION: 12036 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Jack Horner’s house is tucked away in the city of Covina.  The property is not easily visible from the street.

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LOCATION: 19515 E Cameron Ave, Covina, CA 91724

The side of the house, where Little Bill, played by William H. Macy, witnesses his wife having sex outside, while a group of party guests watch.

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The back of Jack Horner’s house, with the patio and swimming pool, where the party takes place.

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Later in the film, Dirk Diggler moves into his own house, located in Woodland Hills.

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LOCATION: 4214 Lobos Rd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Amber Waves makes a documentary about Dirk Diggler, which itself is based on the documentary “Exhausted: John C. Holmes, the Real Story.”  The bridge Dirk stands in front of is the Colfax Ave footbridge in Studio City.  It can be found near the intersection of Colfax Ave and Ventura Blvd.  Once you spot the overpass on Colfax, the bridge is just beneath it and can easily be accessed by foot.

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LOCATION: Near the intersection of Colfax Ave / Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 (nearest address is 4028 Colfax Ave, Studio City, CA 91604)

Towards the end of the film, things take a darker turn as Dirk solicits himself to perform sexual acts for money.  The alley where he meets the man in the truck is still there, but the buildings to the left has since been demolished.  The church in the background can still be seen.  This location is very close to the donut shop in the film.

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LOCATION: 18128 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335

Buck Swope picks up some donuts at the aforementioned Miss Donuts.  This is in Reseda, near the church seen above and the “Hot Traxx” location.

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LOCATION: 18231 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335

The drug dealer robbery is planned from the El Royale Hotel in Studio City.

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LOCATION: 11117 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Things reach a crescendo with a drug deal gone bad, at this house in Encino.  Sadly, the house has since been demolished and a new home build in it’s place.  Luckily, we we able photograph it prior to it’s demolition.

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LOCATION: 16801 Encino Hills Dr, Encino, CA 91436

Related articles: Hard Eight (1996)Magnolia (1999)Punch-Drunk Love (2002)There Will Be Blood (2007)The Master (2012)Inherent Vice (2014)

There Will Be Blood (2007)

While the majority of Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 masterpiece, “There Will Be Blood,” was shot on location at McGuire Ranch in Marfa, Texas, the film’s third act was shot mostly in Beverly Hills, California.  Aside from an exterior, establishing shot of Daniel Plainview’s mansion, which was shot at Thornewood Castle in Washington (8601 N Thorne Ln SW, Lakewood, WA 98498), all of the interiors were shot at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. While the outside of the Greystone grounds is open daily and free to the public, getting inside is a bit more challenging.  The property is owned by the City of Beverly Hills and regularly accommodates productions and private events.  Therefore, only a few times a year is access to the inside of the estate possible.  Planning ahead is required if you’d like to see inside.

LOCATION: 905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Daniel Plainview, played by Daniel Day Lewis, can be seen firing his gun in his house from this hallway.

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The objects he is shooting at, which his son later steps over when arriving to visit, is seen from the reverse perspective.

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Daniel Plainview can be seen writing checks at this kitchen counter.

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Plainview’s son comes to visit Daniel in his office, which is lit much darker in the film.  This same room can also be seen in “The Big Lebowski,” when The Dude visits The Big Lebowski, as well as in the film “Air Force One.”  This room can actually be seen without gaining entry inside the building.  Just left of the main windows at the front of the mansion, you can usually look through the windows and see this room, unless curtains are blocking it.

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Daniel sits at his desk in front of this window, which again is much darker in the film.

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A drunken Daniel Plainview is seen stumbling down these stairs, as the film approaches it’s final scenes.

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Eli Sunday, played by Paul Dano, pays Daniel a visit and fixes himself a drink at this bar.

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In this corner of the bowling alley is where Eli Sunday and Daniel Plainview sit and talk, with Plainview seated on the bowling ball rack.  Daniel demands Eli declare himself a false profit and delivers the famous “I drink your milkshake” speech. The bowling alley was completely restored by the production and the room remains identical to how it appeared in the film.

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The film’s violent ending takes place on these bowling lanes. “I’m finished.”

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Related articles: Hard Eight (1996)Boogie Nights (1997)Magnolia (1999)Punch-Drunk Love (2002)The Master (2012)Inherent Vice (2014)

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2002 romantic drama, much like his previous films, was shot largely around the Valley, north of Los Angeles, where the filmmaker grew up.  However, some key sequences also took place in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The film begins at Eckhart Auto Body in Chatsworth, CA, where Barry, played by Adam Sandler, houses his offices.

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LOCATION: 10101 Canoga Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311

The view when Lena, played by Emily Watson, approaches and introduces herself.

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Standing at the driveway, looking to your left out onto Canoga Ave., you’ll see the spot where the car crashes at the beginning of the film.

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At the driveway entrance is where the harpsichord is dropped off.

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Perhaps the film’s most iconic location and the one immortalized on the movie poster is far away from Southern California, on the beaches of Waikiki, Hawaii.  The Royal Hawaiian Hotel is where Adam Sandler and Emily Watson embrace for their kiss, with the backdrop of Waikiki behind them.  Despite being a fairly upscale resort, access to the lobby is easily available to the general public.  If you’re coming from Kalakaua Ave., the hotel is behind a large shopping plaza and housed on the beaches, right next to the Sheraton.  Entry from the beach is also possible.  Just make your way to the Mai Tai Bar of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (same address as the hotel itself, only facing on the beach), which is where Barry and Lena enjoy a meal together in the film, with the band singing and the beautiful Diamond Head peak in the background at sunset.  From there you can easily see and enter the hotel lobby where the pair kiss.  We’ve opted to exclude photos of the Mai Tar Bar here, because the layout has changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.  There is no band performing at the real beach restaurant, in case you had your hopes up for that.  It was added by the production.  Just do a quick google search if you’re looking for pictures of Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach or the Mai Tai Bar (just make sure it’s the Royal Hawaiian one, as Honolulu has a couple other bars by the same name).

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LOCATION: Royal Hawaiian Hotel, 2259 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815

Back in California, Barry and Lana have dinner at this table at Le Petit Chateau in North Hollywood.  The specific table can be found through the main entrance, on the opposite side of the wall.  There is a painting and plaque on the wall above the center of the table.

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LOCATION: Le Petit Chateau, 4615 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602

Barry excuses himself to the bathroom, where he quickly proceeds to destroy it, after Lana repeats an embarrassing story about him that his sister told her.  The scene really was filmed inside the actual restaurant’s bathroom, which has changed only slightly since filming.

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Barry is confronted by a staff member here and subsequently gets kicked out of the restaurant for destroying their bathroom.

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Barry and Lana make their way out of the restaurant through this entrance way.

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The couple then walks out of the restaurant, which is seen in a night shot.

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Elsewhere in the the Valley, in Sherman Oaks, you’ll find Barry’s apartment.

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LOCATION: 14926 Moorpark St., Sherman Oaks 91403

The reverse view out onto Moorpark St. is where Philip Seymour Hoffman’s thugs crash into Barry and Lana’s car.

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Near the end of the film, Barry supposedly travels to Utah to confront Dean Trumbell at his mattress store.  The real building can be found in Pamona.

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LOCATION: 390 W Foothill Blvd, Pomona, CA 91767

Last, but not least, we leave you with a quick shot of Paul Thomas Anderson and Adam Sandler discussing the film.

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Related articles: Hard Eight (1996)Boogie Nights (1997)Magnolia (1999)There Will Be Blood (2007)The Master (2012)Inherent Vice (2014)