‘Sex, Cash and Suicide’ Sites Return to Market

A rendering of 14930's future home
Photo Courtesy of The Agency

By MATTHEW MEYER | Reporter

The sites of two Huntington homes where pornographer Carlos Tobalina lived and shot dozens of adult films in the 1970s and ’80s are now on the market.

Gone are the single-story structures that once housed both Tobalina’s family and the explicit scenes that made him a fortune, then sat abandoned behind chain-link fences for over a decade.

In their place: Two lots with price tags of $17 and $19 million—and plans to build two modern, cliffside homes with accommodations fit for royalty.

The estates—14914 and 14930 Corona Del Mar—boast ocean views stretching from LA’s beach cities to Malibu.

They’ve gone uninhabited since 2007, when Tobalina’s wife Maria, who had been living at the 14914 address, passed away.

In 2015 the two properties sold for a total of $16.75 million to subsidiaries of a Japanese conglomerate. Now they’re pocket listings with a Beverly Hills luxury real estate brokerage called The Agency.

An award-winning Palisadian-Post series, titled “Sex, Cash and Suicide,” unraveled the estates’ sordid past in 2016.

Reporter Nate Berg told the tale of Efrain “Carlos” Tobalina, a Peruvian-born pornographer who first came to California in 1956.

By the time he purchased the two Corona Del Mar homes in 1971, Tobalina was successful in his field, with four feature-length, X-rated films to his name.

From there, Tobalina would ride the wave of adult cinema’s “Golden Age,” profiting mightily on relatively low-budget films with high margins.

Between 1969 and 1989, the pornographer was credited with at least 47 sex films, starring the likes of notable porn actors such as Ron Jeremy.

Many of the scenes were filmed amid the seemingly wholesome, upper-middle class Huntington neighborhood, in Tobalina’s Spanish-style home at 14930.

His movies—and their domestic production—toed the line of the era’s laws against everything from prostitution and obscenity to the then-felonious charge of “conspiracy to commit oral copulation.”

Tobalina had repeated run-ins with LAPD, and ultimately starred in a series of court battles that helped shape modern thinking about the First Amendment and the Supreme Court’s definition of obscenity.

He released his final film in 1987.

On March 31, 1989, Tobalina was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the back patio of 14930. A note found nearby explained that he’d taken his own life because he was suffering from terminal liver cancer.

In 1996 the home at 14930 was demolished after sustaining significant damage during the Northridge earthquake. That lot remained empty, and both properties stood untouched behind a construction fence for more than a decade.

Neighbors called the undeveloped space an “eyesore,” amid its otherwise trim surroundings.

They might be pleased to hear that two luxurious new homes are now due next door, offering their owners scenic gardens, modern design and stunning views.

Plus a salacious legacy that makes one heck of a story for the housewarming party.

Casey P. Smith contributed to this report.