A ‘Soggy Bottom’ Is Cause for Glee in the Valley

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San Fernando’s own Paul Thomas Anderson is filming around the Valley for his forthcoming film, and it’s a groovy ’70s throwback.

A few weeks ago, lucky Valley residents were notified that Oscar-winning director Paul Thomas Anderson was returning to his old stomping grounds to begin filming a new movie.

A letter to neighbors from the production team of “Soggy Bottom.” Photo courtesy of Jeff Koga.

When he’s not making quirky music videos for Haim, Radiohead and Fiona Apple, Anderson is busy wowing audiences with films that are typically set near his hometown.

Born in Studio City, PTA attended high school in Van Nuys before heading east for college. When he returned to L.A., he worked as a production assistant and soon began writing and directing his own films. “Hard Eight,” starring John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson, was his feature directorial debut, which was soon followed by “Boogie Nights” starring the Valley (and Marky Mark).

The success of that film opened the doors for Anderson to make any damn thing his heart desired — and he went for it, reeling off a variety of weird and dark creative endeavors including “Magnolia,” “Punch Drunk Love,” “The Master” and “There Will Be Blood.” All of which he also wrote.

“I drink your milkshake,” is PTA AF.

The Chatsworth Tire covering is being used to hide a used car dealership sign being used for the “Soggy Bottom” film. Photo courtesy of Jeff Koga.

So when Valley residents found out that their favorite son was back behind the camera and soon to be shooting in their neighborhoods, odds are the letter from the location managers was met with smiles and good feelings. Surely whatever this “Soggy Bottom” was would turn out to be pretty good.

According to IMDb, “Soggy Bottom” is set in 1970s San Fernando Valley and follows a high school student who is also a successful child actor.

Judging from the photos provided by longtime photographer Jeff Koga, that ’70s vibe is alive and well in the sets popping up around Chatsworth.

Rathbuns rises again. Photo courtesy of Jeff Koga.

Rathbuns was a bustling department store in L.A. with a long history.

A commenter on the Museum of the San Fernando Valley’s website who identified herself as the granddaughter of Ted and Pat Rathbun said it was sold to Nahas Department Stores in 1972 when they were senior citizens. Unfortunately, Nahas didn’t last long, as malls began to rise.

“My great grandfather, Hall Rathbun, started the store on Pico Blvd. (near where the Staples Center is today) in the early 20th century and moved it to North Hollywood around 1914,” she wrote. “Interesting facts: Amelia Earhart bought her clothes and shoes there. Raquel Welch worked with her mom on the switchboard for a while.”

A screenshot of an Instagram post by Julia Bloop.

Instagram user Julia Bloop shot some video of filming taking place in Valley Village. Note the vintage cars in the background.

The film is said to star Cooper Hoffman, son of Philip Seymour Hoffman (who appeared in several of Anderson’s films before his untimely death), Bradley Cooper and musician Alana Haim.

A vintage ad for Pup ‘n’ Taco on a bus bench. Photo courtesy of Jeff Koga.
The Valley Women’s Club. Photo courtesy of Jeff Koga.
A peek through the window of a camera store. Photo courtesy of Jeff Koga.

Not since Quentin Tarantino transformed a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard for “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” have Angelenos seemed so excited to see filming return to their neighborhoods.

Los Angeleno