Seeing Stars: Where the Movies Were Shot (on Location)




The Hard Times of RJ Berger - Filming Locations

Filming locations of TV Shows,
Made-for-TV Movies & Music Videos.


The MTV sitcom, "The Hard Times of RJ Berger", is supposed
to take place in the fictional town of Pinkerton, Ohio.


But in reality, virtually all of the show is filmed in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley.

Take, for instance, RJ's high school, "Pinkerton High" (seen below), where
the local bully (Max) makes life miserable for the nice-but-nerdy teenager.

Pinkerton High

Those school scenes are actually filmed at Reseda High School, in the Valley.
  The address of the school is 18230 Kittridge Street, in Reseda, California.


The entrance we always see is on the school's north side, facing Kittridge Street, near
Nestle Ave. But they also have filed in the school's classrooms, cafeteria, athletic fields, etc.


Reseda is an L.A. suburb, about four miles northwest of the interchange of the
405 & 101 freeways, surrounded by the similar Valley suburbs of Tarzana, Encino,
Van Nuys, West Hills & Northridge, where you'll find most of the show's other locations.


Here is a Google StreetView of that familiar school entrance.


         






So, you now know where RJ goes to school.  So, where does he live?

RJ's home

Well, in the first season, his family home (seen above) was a typical Valley
ranch-style house located at 4944 Texhoma Avenue, in Encino
, CA
  (at the corner of Texhoma & Tarzana St.)


The house is about two miles northwest of his high school.

Here is a Google StreetView of the house.

[Warning: This is a private home.  Do not trespass on their property,
knock on their door, or do anything else that might disturb the residents.]


         






However, in the show's second season, his mom & dad got divorced,
so RJ moved out of the house and into his mom's blue apartment building
.
(Where they were later joined by the horrid Coach Sinclair.)

RJ's home

The apartments shown in the above screencap are only a few of a long line of a dozen
near-identical blue condos that line the west side of
Etiwanda Avenue, in Tarzana, CA.

But they seemed to mainly use the doorways labeled 5811-5813 and 5815-5817 Etiwanda .
The condos are just south of Hatteras Street, two blocks north of the Ventura Freeway.

That's about a mile and a half northwest of his original house,
and less than a mile south of his school.


Here is a Google StreetView of the condos.

[Warning: These are private condos.  Do not trespass on their property,
knock on their doors, or do anything else that might disturb the residents.]


         






Meanwhile, his poor father was forced to move into the "No-Tell Motel",
a sleezy, cheap motel frequented by transvestite hookers and drug users.

It's here that RJ tries to comfort his dad, and it's here where RJ and his
friends throw a big "Max -Bash" party (which, of course, Max crashes)
.

RJ's home

This really is a motel, and the one review I could find
online made it sound almost as bad as it is on the show.

In real life, it's called the Movieland Motel, at 19335 Ventura Blvd, in Tarzana.

It's on the north side of Ventura Blvd, less than a mile and a half west of the mom's apartment.

As this
Google StreetView shows, you could drive right past the place without seeing it,
since it's set back from the road, behind a wall, and it faces east, away from the street.


The producers added a fake "No-Tell Motel" sign, in the back.
The actual sign is in the front, out on Ventura Blvd.

As of 2011, the motel is up for sale, but the listing specifies that it's being
sold for land value alone ($1.8 million), and the motel will be torn down at sale.
So it looks like we may not have the Movieland Motel around much longer...


         






Remember the episode where RJ took Amy & Miles to a Weezer concert?

And to get into that concert, they needed fake ID's.

This is where he got them: Fidel's house.

Fidel's house

Coach Sinclair gave RJ the address, and it turned out to be in a rough neighborhood.
They knocked on the door, and Fidel, a dangerous-looking guy, pulled them inside.
When they told him that the coach sent them, he was about to sell them the fake ID's,
when the police suddenly arrived on the scene, with lights flashing.  The kids grabbed
the fake ID's and made a successful run for it.  (Coach had called the cops.)

On the show, the address was "1150 Chunte Street" (which Miles mispronounced).

In real life, this little white house with the picket fence is located at
5844 Balcom Avenue, in Encino, at the northeast corner of
Balcom & Hatteras,
about half a mile east of the mom's apartment.

[Warning: This is a private home.  Do not trespass on their property,
knock on their door, or do anything else that might disturb the residents.]


I suspect that the producers may have chosen it, in part at least, because the
houses across the street had yellow, overgrown lawns (as you can see in this
 
Google StreetView), helping to give the area the rundown look they were going for.
The rest of the block looks like a pretty normal working class neighborhood.



         






Finally we have two locations that are right across the street from each other.

Remember the season finale where the guys went to the Fall Formal dance in a limo?

RJ had managed to land his first date with the girl of his dreams, Jenny Swanson.
The first location is the house where RJ picks her up, at her home.

When her father opens the door, he is about to read the riot act to her date, but
when he sees harmless RJ standing there, he tells him he has the wrong house.

  When Jenny appears, and tells them he's her date, her father is delighted
- and her mother somewhat puzzled.

Jenny's house

Jenny Swanson's house is located at 18630 Ringling Street, in Tarzana.
(That's about mid-way between RJ's house and his Dad's cheap motel.)

You don't see much of it in the scene, just a little of the brick walkway, and the door.

Here's a Google StreetView of the house.

         

[Warning: This are private homes.  Do not trespass on their property,
knock on their doors, or do anything else that might disturb the residents.]




Next, we see Robin's house, when Miles makes the mistake of stopping there
to try to take her to the dance.  Both she and her parents ridicule poor Miles.



Robin's house is located at 18641 Ringling Street, in Tarzana.
(right across the street from Jenny's, and one house to the west)


Here's a Google StreetView of the house.

         

[Warning: This are private homes.  Do not trespass on their property,
knock on their doors, or do anything else that might disturb the residents.]






             



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