The NME guide to San Fernando Valley, home of Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Licorice Pizza’

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The Baked Potato jazz club

This tiny but prominent jazz club, which pops up in Licorice Pizza and is mentioned in La La Land, has been entertaining the cool cats of the San Fernando Valley since 1970. Metal lovers will also know it, sadly, as the place where Nick Menza of Megadeth collapsed and died while playing with his band Ohm in 2016.

7121 Lonzo Drive, Tujunga

This unassuming suburban house, backed by the dramatic San Gabriel Mountains, will be familiar to millions as the house where E.T. crash-lands in Steven Spielberg’s beloved movie. The flying bicycle scenes were filmed in nearby Granada Hills.

NoHo Arts District

NoHo stands for North of Hollywood, and if Arts District is conjuring images of art galleries, dance studios and organic food places, vintage stores and tiki bars staffed by aspiring actors, then you’re bang-on. The area is home to the El Portal theatre, a performing arts venue that can be seen in Licorice Pizza.


FreakBeat Records

Crate Diggers in the valley head to this local institution in Sherman Oaks. It’s one of those record stores you dream of, with brown boxes of used vinyl promising endless discoveries.

Northridge Skateland

For big Licorice Pizza feels, immerse yourself in the height of 1970s entertainment and strut your stuff on this throwback skating rink, which has been a hangout since 1958 and remains charmingly retro.

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