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Saturday, Jun 10, 2023

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Boogie Nights, the Conference The San Fernando Valley has long been a center of the adult film business. So perhaps it’s not surprising that the World Pornography Conference is coming to town. CSUN Northridge’s Center for Sex Research and the Free Speech Coalition, the trade association for the adult entertainment industry, are co-hosting “Eroticism and the First Amendment,” Aug. 6-9 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City. A press release heralds the conference as the “real ‘Boogie Nights,’ ” after the 1997 film that chronicled the Valley’s porn industry. Topics will include Victorian pornography, X-rated comics and interactive sex (which we assume means porn sites on the Internet). Those taking part will include lawyers for Hustler, Penthouse and Playboy magazines and international panelists who will discuss pornography in their countries. Producers, directors and stars involved in the adult entertainment industry will also attend. One person who won’t be welcoming the conference is sure to be Nancy Hoffman, the executive director of the Mid-Valley Chamber of Commerce. Every time the film “Boogie Nights” gets released on video in yet another country, Hoffman reports that she gets barraged by calls from foreign press trying to locate members of the adult film industry for interviews. To Hoffman’s knowledge, there are no adult entertainment companies on the roster of Mid-Valley Chamber members. Slaves to Fashion Bloomingdale’s is known for its edgy fashion, but now you might say the retailer is living on the edge. The Fashion Square store in Sherman Oaks will be hosting a summer fund-raising party for the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association by holding a barbecue on the premises. The homeowners are raising money for an ongoing tree-planting project on Ventura Boulevard. Rather than hold the event at the group’s usual site, The Ventura, organizers this year decided to ask Bloomingdale’s to contribute the store for the evening’s festivities, and the event will take place on the main floor on Saturday night, July 18. Bloomingdale’s, which will close early for the event, has pledged 10 percent of the receipts from purchases to the homeowners association for their tree-planting efforts. There will also be a band, a silent auction and dancing. Partygoers will be able to shop while they dine on a barbecue meal, which Bloomingdale’s Kayla Pressman, director of public relations and special events, called “gourmet.” Isn’t Bloomies worried about revelers carousing around all that expensive merchandise with food and drink in hand? Pressman isn’t embarrassed to say that she is. But Bloomingdale’s doesn’t employ any dummies, either. “You won’t see any mustard or red wine at this barbecue,” she said. Free Stuff A few local San Fernando Valley merchants are getting some free advertising compliments of California Pizza Kitchen, a national pizza chain. In recent weeks, the restaurant company began an ad campaign that uses other stores as a foil for its humor. As a result, the Valley Oaks Dry Cleaners in Sherman Oaks now has a billboard over the shop with an arrow pointing to the cleaners below. The sign says, “Just in case you get BBQ chicken pizza on your shirt.” The billboard over the Carriage Body Shop in Sherman Oaks reads, “Leaving a BLT pizza with your car could have a positive effect on your estimate.” And the ad over the local Unocal station simply asks, “Why the 9/10ths?” California Pizza Kitchen sent letters to the local shop owners letting them know they were beginning the campaign and followed up by staging a free pizza lunch outside several of the stores for passersby. No one complained. Hartman Remembered The late comic Phil Hartman was a big booster for his hometown of Encino, and his death last month has been hitting members of the Encino Chamber of Commerce particularly hard. David Lynn, chief executive officer of the Encino Chamber, recalled when the chamber decided to get publicity shots of a trio of celebrities who all held honorary positions with the organization. There was Ronnie Schell, formerly of “Gomer Pyle,” who is honorary mayor; and John Goodman, the former star of “Roseanne,” who was honorary attorney general at the time; and Hartman, honorary sheriff. Schell showed up for the session in a coat and tie. Goodman walked in wearing a double-breasted suit. “And Phil went out and got a 19th century sheriff’s outfit,” Lynn recalls. “He was just having fun and it always livened things up,” Lynn said. “We’re really missing him.”

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