Sofia Coppola  had her 21st birthday  party at the  Chateau  Marmont  — a fact she had forgotten until  Phil Pavel , the  hotel manager, reminded her while she was there shooting her new film,   Somewhere  .  It’s the first feature to be granted clearance to shoot extensively  inside the rooms and on the grounds of the infamous Sunset Boulevard  hideaway, legendary for its starry scandal sheet. It’s the site where  John Belushi  and  Helmut Newton  died, where sometime Coppola muse  Scarlett  Johansson  allegedly had sex with  Benicio Del  Toro  in an elevator (an event nodded to in  Somewhere ), from  which  Britney Spears  was — allegedly! — banned for “smearing her dinner on her face.” It is  an official landmark, No. 151 on the city’s list of Historic-Cultural  Monuments. In contemporary pop culture, it’s a symbol of Peak L.A. — a  concentrated dose of a certain fantasy version of this city’s secret  life. 
 
  Sofia Coppola, Lost at the Chateau Marmont .

Sofia Coppola had her 21st birthday party at the Chateau Marmont — a fact she had forgotten until Phil Pavel, the hotel manager, reminded her while she was there shooting her new film, Somewhere. It’s the first feature to be granted clearance to shoot extensively inside the rooms and on the grounds of the infamous Sunset Boulevard hideaway, legendary for its starry scandal sheet. It’s the site where John Belushi and Helmut Newton died, where sometime Coppola muse Scarlett Johansson allegedly had sex with Benicio Del Toro in an elevator (an event nodded to in Somewhere), from which Britney Spears was — allegedly! — banned for “smearing her dinner on her face.” It is an official landmark, No. 151 on the city’s list of Historic-Cultural Monuments. In contemporary pop culture, it’s a symbol of Peak L.A. — a concentrated dose of a certain fantasy version of this city’s secret life.

Sofia Coppola, Lost at the Chateau Marmont.