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7 Exact Locations Where Licorice Pizza Was Filmed

7 Exact Locations Where Licorice Pizza Was Filmed

Here are 7 locations where Licorice Pizza was filmed that surely left a lasting impression on you.

Roubina Al Abashian


5 min read

October 25, 2022

Disclaimer: is not receiving any type of compensation for reviewing any of the products or services mentioned in this article.

When Licorice Pizza was released in late 2021, residents of the San Fernando Valley lived through deja vu scene after scene. Written and directed by Los Angeles native Paul Thomas Anderson, the period comedy drama follows the unique love story of Gary Valentine (played by Cooper Hoffman) and Alana Kane (played by Alana Haim) in 1970s L.A. The film also includes an ensemble supporting cast, including the likes of Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper, and Tom Waits. 

Licorice Pizza was fully shot in the San Fernando Valley, a reminiscence of director Paul Thomas Anderson’s younger years. Even though some scenes were altered in order to create a more accurate representation of the 1970s Valley, most locations were, and still are, real places. Whether you’re having deja vu or simply fell in love with this side of Southern California, you can revisit many of the locations and create memories of your own. Here are 7 locations that surely left a lasting impression on you, which can be easily reached for exploration.

Note: This article contains spoilers, so, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you might want to postpone reading it until you have. 

Gary Valentine’s High School

Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman have incredible chemistry on-screen, making them an exciting duo to watch.

Shot at:
Gaspar de Portola Charter Middle School
Location: 18720 Linnet Street, Tarzana

Remember the very first scene in Licorice Pizza where Gary and Alana first met? Yes, that scene at Gary’s high school, where Alana was working as a photographer’s assistant on school picture day, where she bumped into the young prodigy while running across the hallway. That high school would be the Gaspar de Portola Middle School in Tarzana. Even though entering this now-famous Southern California film location would be a bit odd, unless you're a student or parent, you can still pass by it, and have a better understanding of where the movie began. 

The Iconic Tail O’ the Cock 

Shot at: Billingsley Restaurant
Location: 6550 Odessa Avenue, Van Nuys

At some point during the movie, Alana Haim’s and Sean Penn’s characters meet and do line-readings together for an audition. Afterwards, Penn’s character, Jack Holden, takes Alana out for dinner at the iconic Tail O’ the Cock tavern, a Los Angeles hotspot where celebrity sightings were a regular occurrence — that is, until the place closed up shop in 1987. That didn’t stop Anderson from recreating the tavern just as he remembered it. To do that, he dressed up the former Billingsley Restaurant to look just like Tail O’ the Cock and shot the beautiful dinner scene inside its premises. This Licorice Pizza filming location can be found in Van Nuys, adjacent to the golf course, which in turn was used in yet another memorable scene.

The Motorcycle Scene

Up until wrapping production, the film was going to be called Soggy Bottom, until a last minute change of heart.

Shot at:
Van Nuys Golf Course
Location: 6550 Odessa Avenue, Van Nuys

Right after dinner, Jack Holden gets all excited about jumping over a sand trap with his chopper, and he is willing to take Alana with him on his wild ride. This iconic Licorice Pizza L.A. scene was shot at the recent-day Van Nuys Golf Course, one of the best places to take a swing in Southern California. If you want to feel the vibes of the Los Angeles of Licorice Pizza, you can simply head to the golf course and challenge your friends to a game of golf. Bet you thought we were going to propose a motorcycle challenge — that you do at your own risk; after all, we all remember where Alana ended up lying.

The Gas Station

Shot at: Encino 76 Station
Location: 16900 Ventura Boulevard, Encino

Gary, Alana, and friends end up making a waterbed delivery to Jon Peters’ (played by Bradley Cooper) house, who’s about to leave the house to meet his girlfriend Barbara Streisand. After Peters humiliates Gary, and the latter thus ruins his house, our young pair bump into Peters on the street, running out of gas. In a turn of events, Gary and Alana leave Peters in a crowded gas station and go ahead to wreck his car. Encino residents are pretty familiar with the gas station, which happens to be the Encino 76 Union Station. Even though the director had to alter the station to give it some more 70s vibes, it still does look familiar to passerbys. Feel like filling up your tank? You better drive to this famous Licorice Pizza location.

The Election Central

Canoga Park, a staple of what’s known as “the valley” in broader San Fernando Valley, is a common filming location.

Shot at:
The Sofa Place
Location: 21702 Sherman Way Canoga Park

Licorice Pizza sheds light on longtime Valley politician Joel Wachs, who ran for mayor in 1973. In the movie, Alana works as a volunteer for Wachs’ campaign. His election central accordingly becomes one of the most memorable Licorice Pizza film locations, considering even Gary joins the team for a short while. Despite looking perfect as a campaign headquarters setting, the place was actually a shop called “The Sofa Place”, before the director remodeled it completely. While you visit the shop to relive the campaign, you might as well check out the furniture, because you never know, you might find a catch.  

The Pinball Shop

Shot at: My Creative Outlet
Location: 21758 Devonshire Street, Chatsworth

Whenever anyone asks where Licorice Pizza was filmed, they’re probably asking to know where Gary’s “Fat Bernie’s” pinball parlor is located. Who would blame them? Some of the liveliest shots in the movie were taken at this awesome place. In fact, the simple idea behind opening the parlor in the first place was interesting, considering that at the time the game was banned. But, of course, our boy Valentine thought of a profitable business venture as soon as he heard that the ban was being lifted. Now, if you’re still wondering where those famous scenes were shot, you’d care to know that they were shot at an art supplies shop called “My Creative Outlet”. At first glance, you might not recognize the place, as the crew worked so hard to give it the 70s-style facade, but if you look hard enough, you too will feel the thrill of game nights at “Fat Bernie’s”. 

El Portal

This iconic North Hollywood movie theater is a blast from the past for old Hollywood vibes. Junkyardsparkle, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Shot at:
El Portal
Location: 5269 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood

And we successfully make it to the final scene of the movie, where love conquers it all. During a long and eventful night, the heroes come to the realization that they love each other and go out searching for each other. After playing cat and mouse for a while, the pair finally bump into each other in front of the El Portal theater, where in the background viewers can notice that the 1973 James Bond movie Live and Let Die is playing. You’d love to know that this beautiful filming location is still in business in North Hollywood, even though it doesn’t play movies anymore, but rather live shows. 

Thanks to Licorice Pizza, we can safely say that the El Portal theater makes for an awesome place to propose in California, after all, it is here that all feelings were confessed. 

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