The Mikado

Licorice Pizza options a number of barely disguised real-life figures however makes use of actual names for a few of its least-flattering depictions. That features producer Jon Peters, depicted as a rampaging monster, and Jerry Frick, proprietor of the Japanese restaurant the Mikado, portrayed as a enterprise promoting a fastidiously chosen imaginative and prescient of Japanese delicacies (and Japan itself) designed to not scare off Western diners. It additionally portrays him as a person who boasts of his time spent in Japan but speaks no Japanese and makes use of an exaggerated accent to convey the ideas of his spouse, whom he replaces mid-film, a gag that’s triggered even viewers who otherwise admire the film to cringe.

Whether or not or not the movie depicts Frick precisely, each he and the Mikado have been actual locations. The Mikado opened in 1958 as the Brass Rail however modified its title and focus in 1964. Frick appears actually to have frolicked in and run a enterprise in Japan. He informed the Van Nuys Valley Information he lived there for 15 years in a bit masking a “Far East Get Collectively” occasion in 1965. The Mikado does appear to have been cautious about providing timid Valley diners child steps into the world of Japanese meals. The author of a brief 1974 profile of the restaurant, additionally in Valley Information, informs readers the Mikado gives “American or Japanese spirits” and “[f]or the daring, sashimi (recent uncooked fish in season).”

The Pinball Ban

Sure, Los Angeles actually did ban pinball, an ordinance in impact for many years. Beginning in 1939, Los Angelenos needed to do with out, per The Los Angeles Times, “Pin-ball video games, marble boards, scoop claws and comparable units” which had been deemed harmful as a consequence of “petty playing, so widespread that the police are completely inadequate in quantity to implement the legislation.” The California Supreme Courtroom overruled the ordinance in 1974. Gary Goetzman, the movie producer whose life and tales supplied the inspiration for Licorice Pizza, actually did run a waterbed enterprise and pinball parlor out of an Encino storefront, too. It’s lengthy gone, although the set dressing fooled some pinball enthusiasts into considering it was a brand new operation final 12 months. If it’s any comfort, a recreation of the unique will be open in Westwood through December 18th.

The El Portal Theater

Not each place featured in Licorice Pizza has met the wrecking ball. One key second takes place in entrance of the El Portal, a movie show boasting its present hit attraction, the James Bond film Dwell and Let Die. (In one other signal of adjusting instances, it’s the primary to characteristic Roger Moore.) Opened in 1926 and situated at 5269 Lankershim Blvd., the El Portal remains to be in enterprise, although it’s undergone some changes over the years.

The El Portal started life as a vaudeville theater earlier than turning into a single-screen film home. The theater underwent a facelift within the late 1940s and was owned by the Mann chain in August of 1973 when it did play Dwell and Let Die, which alternated screenings with the Charles Bronson thriller The Mechanic. It suffered heavy injury in a 1994 earthquake however has since been repaired and now operates as a performing arts center. (You possibly can at the moment catch Hair and ABBA Mania.) Declared a historic landmark by the Metropolis of Los Angeles, it can seemingly be standing for years to come back. Perhaps somebody may even use it for a nostalgia journey again to 2021 many years from now.


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