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On Location: Porn film studio among top 10 busiest sites in L.A. for production

Penthouse 
The porn industry, like the rest of Hollywood, has been buffeted by the economic downturn, the falloff in DVD sales and a cornucopia of free content on the Internet.

Still, for better or worse, the adult entertainment business remains alive and well in the San Fernando Valley, where thousands of films are shot every year in warehouses and private homes.

One of the 10 busiest sites for on-location filming in Los Angeles last year was a two-story industrial building in Chatsworth operated by Penthouse Studios, a spinoff of the adult magazine. Pornchart

The 35,000-square-foot studio was used for 17 untitled projects and generated 101 production days in 2010. That's nearly one-third the total production days hosted last year at Griffith Park, the most popular spot for on-location filming, according to the survey from FilmL.A. Inc., the nonprofit group that handles film permits for the city and much of the county.

"It's a good spot because they have three big hangars over there and they are constantly changing their sets,'' said a location manager who has frequently worked at the studio and who also asked not be named because of the potential effect on his career working on mainstream films.

Most of the films shot in Chatsworth were produced by Penthouse-owned studio Video Bliss. Kelly Holland, president of Penthouse Studios, declined to comment, saying the company is in a quiet period pending a planned stock offering by its owner, FriendFinder Networks, a Boca Raton, Fla., company that operates various adult social networking and dating sites.

About 6,000 adult films are shot each year, with the majority of them in the San Fernando Valley, according to industry estimates. The films mostly fly under the radar, but occasionally they stir controversy. In 2006, residents in an Encino neighborhood bitterly complained to city officials about an onslaught of porn filming in their enclave, including one during the Easter holiday.

Adult entertainment boomed after the advent of home video in the 1980s. But declining DVD sales and the availability of free porn on the Internet has battered the local industry: The number of major porn producers in L.A. has fallen to about 30, down from approximately 50 three years ago, said Alec Helmy, president and publisher of XBiz, which bills itself as the Variety of the adult entertainment industry.

“The industry is struggling in a big way, but as far as the local market goes, we still get tons of DVDs dropped off at our office every day,” Helmy said.

Porn production accounts for less than 5% of all film permits, but FilmL.A. does not track the industry's overall activity. A decade ago, local economists estimated that the porn industry in the San Fernando Valley generated 10,000 to 20,000 jobs annually and had $4 billion in annual sales. More recent figures, however, aren't available, perhaps because civic leaders aren't eager to tout an industry many in the public consider unsavory.

"A lot of people are uncomfortable with the subject, even though it appears they have lots of customers,” said Nancy Sidhu, chief economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

-- Richard Verrier

Photo:  Industrial building in Chatsworth operated by Penthouse-owned studio Video Bliss. The studio was the ninth busiest site for on-location filming in 2010. Credit: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times.

 

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Comments () | Archives (9)

And your point is...?

That is what makes it worthwhile to visit any coffee shop near one of those buildings cause the chances of running into those type of actresses happen often...

Mr cooltub: The point is... like it or not this is a major industry in this area, and the job of a local newspaper is to inform people of what is happening in their area, especially if it's under-the-radar like this industry. I found it interesting.

porn movies are made in the valley. wow, thanks for the insight la times. coming up next....a big earthquake will rattle southern california.
keep up the great work la times. good thing you closed all those overseas offices and have forced retired all the old veteran reporters because your paper just keeps getting better.

At some point in the not-too-distant future, these 'porn' companies will render their 'films' digitally with avatar actors. It will be quite a story.

This life-like virtualization eliminated the physical risks and, eventually, the physical costs. It also changed the content in ways that perplexed even the Supreme Court. The adult entertainment market boomed again like it did in the 1980s, as people once again had a trendy reason to view 'super-porn' acts that defied both physics and morals. Beyond surreal, it was Super-Reel(tm).

Most importantly, it ushered in a new age of custom content, where no two Blu-Rays were the same or even viewed the same way twice. The mainstreem studios eventually picked up on this technique for major motion pictures and revolutionized the 'movies'. The porn industry became a vanguard of entertainment technology. Strange but true.

In regard to your question, the answer is 'yes'.

I love Free Porn

In the 8th paragraph, the link on "free porn on the internet" does not lead to free porn on the internet. Sheesh, this paper is going downhill.

As a Chatsworth resident, I'm proud of our status as "the porn capital of the free world"

Prudest country in the world: USA
Country that produces the most porn: USA
Country that consumes the most porn: USA?


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