Atwater Village -- When Luis Lopez leased his car repair shop as a location for the new Netflix miniseries "Hollywood," he didn't exactly know what role his shop would play. Turns out it wasn't about cars getting serviced.
Instead, the Fletcher Drive repair shop doubles as a 1940s Hollywood gas station where customers pulled up to arrange hook-ups with male hustlers seeking fame and fortune in Tinseltown.
That's one of the storylines in Ryan Murphy's "Hollywood," which was partly inspired by a memoir by Scotty Bowers, according to Slate.
Bowers, whose 2012 memoir is titled "Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars," moved to Hollywood after World War II and started trading sex for cash with actors and others in the movie business while working at a gas station at Hollywood Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue.
In the TV show, Dylan McDermott plays Ernie, a character apparently based on Bowers, who recruited male sex workers - including some of his old Marine buddies - into the business operated out of the Golden Tip gasoline station.
While Lopez was kept in the dark about the storyline, he did notice that the production design team seemed fascinated in his bathrooms.
“They kept fixating and coming back to them, and I thought, ‘Something’s up here,’” Lopez said.
When the Netflix previews started coming out, Lopez said his suspicions were confirmed. “I got a good laugh when I found out that my guess was right on,” he said.
With Lopez’s station, the producers found what they needed: a classic Streamline Moderne building with yes, the original bathrooms from when it was built in the 1930s as a Mobil gas station. The repair section was constructed in the 1940s.
Netflix producers didn’t have to make any structural changes, Lopez said, but made it look cleaner, added some fixtures and props and removed the modern equipment and fencing around the property (which they later put back).
Filming started in September 2019, at which point Lopez began a long overdue vacation, upgrading his repair skills and visiting family in Mexico. Production at the station ended in February, and Lopez went back to work for about a month before, taking time off again because of coronavirus.
Lopez’s station appears in the opening scene for one of show's trailers.