The Lost Boys (1987)

The 1987 film “The Lost Boys,” directed by Joel Schumacher, is set in the fictional beach town of Santa Carla, California. In reality, the film was famously shot in Santa Cruz, with some additional scenes filmed in Southern California. The Santa Cruz Boardwalk plays a prominent role in the film. In the opening scenes, David, played by Kiefer Sutherland, can be seen riding the carousel with his crew.

LOCATION: 400 Beach St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

As the boardwalk closes down for the night, a security guard is attacked as he exits to a parking lot.

Later in the film, Michael, played by Jason Patric, meets Star, played by Jami Gertz, in this area of the boardwalk. The 2019 Jordan Peele film “Us” also shot scenes at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. The film’s opening scene is set in 1986, at the same time “The Lost Boys” was filming. The characters in “Us” even reference this film when they walk past this area, mentioning a movie is being filmed nearby. The film “Sudden Impact” also shot on the boardwalk.

Michael meets David and his crew at this area of the boardwalk.

David invites Michael to come along on a bike ride and the boys all ride their bikes down these stairs.

Sam, played by Corey Haim, moves with his family from Phoenix to Santa Carla to live at his grandpa’s house. The building seen in the film is known as the Pogonip Clubhouse. Built in 1911, the building operated as everything from a golf club, to hosting women’s polo matches, to briefly serving as a rehab facility for servicemen during WWII. The building opened and closed again many times throughout the years, before being condemned in 1986, right around the time of filming. Only the exteriors of the building were used in the film, interiors were filmed at Warner Bros. Studios.

LOCATION: Near 333 Golf Club Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (GPS coordinates: 36.995416, -122.038388)

Today, the building is part of Pogonip, a scenic hiking and biking trail. The building is open to the public and there’s a few ways to reach it. From the nearest trailhead on Golf Club Dr, you can take a paved path straight up to it, or the Lower Meadow Trail. Unfortunately, the Lower Meadow Trail, while offering scenic views, is overrun by homeless people, to such a degree that we found ourselves inadvertently walking right into their campsites more than once. While no one was confrontational, as the paths do receive a lot of pedestrian traffic, we recommend sticking to the paved path if you wish to see the building from the film. Either route is about a half mile walk, with some uphill portions, but not terribly difficult. Remember to bring water if you do hike there.

The comic book shop where Sam meets Edgar and Alan Frog, played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander, still exists, but no longer at it’s original location. While made to appear on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, the actual shop seen in the film was formerly located on Pacific Ave. The building suffered severe damages in a 1989 earthquake, resulting in the comic book shop changing locations.

LOCATION: 705 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (now demolished)

The store, Atlantis Fantasyworld, is now located on Cedar St in Santa Cruz. While not an actual filming location, they do still have a prop from the film inside; the original “Vampires Everywhere!” comic book. It sits on display behind the front counter.

LOCATION: 1020 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

The cave where David’s crew is based, known as Hudson’s Bluff Sea Cave, is located far from Santa Cruz in Rancho Palos Verdes. The cave sits next to Terranea Beach, which is easily accessible on foot along the Terranea Trail, a public trail which runs behind the Terranea Resort. Seeing the cave up close requires a bit of climbing up some rocks, however, so use caution if you wish to proceed beyond Terranea Beach. The same area has been seen in such films as “Charlie’s Angels,” “Lethal Weapon 2” and “Batman: The Movie,” as well as such TV shows as “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Wonder Woman,” “The Munsters” and more.

LOCATION: Hudson’s Bluff Sea Cave, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 (GPS coordinates: 33.738747, -118.393196)

Another Southern California location is the bridge where David and Michael hang underneath as a train passes. It can be found at the Iron Horse Trailhead near Valencia. The actual bridge is a pedestrian crossing with no train tracks.

LOCATION: 25311 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91355

Unlike what is depicted in the film, the bridge is nowhere near the height above ground suggested in the scene. Here is a view of the actual elevation, with Six Flags Magic Mountain seen in the distance.

The church where Sam and Edgar collect holy water can be found at Warner Bros. Studios.  The same church has been seen in many productions, such as “Gremlins” and “The Monster Squad.”

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

The 1989 film “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” supposedly takes place in San Dimas, Califorina.  However, due to tax incentives at the time, most of the production mostly took place near Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding towns.

Bill and Ted, played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves respectively, practice as their band “Wyld Stallyns” in Bill’s garage.  Bill’s house was actually a composite of two locations.  The first house, which was used for interiors and the back yard, can be found in Phoenix.

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LOCATION: 112 W Kaler Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85021

The second house, used for garage shots of both the interior and exterior, was located in Pacific Palisades, California, but has unfortunately since been torn down with a new home built in it’s place.

LOCATION: 1460 Amalfi Dr, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 (demolished)

Exterior shots of Bill and Ted’s high school were filmed at Coronado High School in Scottsdale.  The school, also seen in the film “Just One of the Guys,” has been heavily remodeled since filming took place.  The interiors were filmed at the former East High School in Phoenix (515 N 48th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008), which had already closed at the time of filming and has since been demolished.

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LOCATION: 7501 E Virginia Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

One location that does still look similar to how it appeared in the film is Ted’s house, located in Phoenix.

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LOCATION: 1841 E Berridge Ln, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Here is another angle of the home.

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The Circle K, where Bill and Ted first meet Rufus, played by George Carlin, can be found in Tempe.  After seeing the time traveling phone booth, Ted delivers the iconic line, “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.”  The store is a popular location for fans of the film, regularly attracting visitors who quote and reenact scenes.

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LOCATION: 1010 W Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282

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Napoleon eats ice cream at the fictional Zyggies.  At the time, the restaurant was known as Showbiz Pizza Place, but it has since become a Chuck E Cheese.

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LOCATION: 8039 N 35th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051

The bowling alley Napoleon gets thrown out of after being unable to pay can be found in Tempe.

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LOCATION: 4407 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282

Bill and Ted take their crew of historical figures out to the San Dimas Mall.  This was actually filmed at the Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix.  The mall, which was only seen from interior views in the film, has since closed down.

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LOCATION: 9617 N Metro Pkwy W, Phoenix, AZ 85051

Waterloo, where Napoleon becomes enamored with the water slides, was filmed at Golfland Sunsplash in Mesa.

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LOCATION: 155 W Hampton Ave, Mesa, AZ 85210

This castle building is seen in some shots during the scene.

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Related articles: Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

The 1991 sequel “Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey” filmed in Southern California. Bill and Ted, played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, live at this apartment in West Hollywood. The same building has been featured in the films “L.A. Story,” “The Limey,” “Rush Hour” and more.

LOCATION: 1400 N Hayworth Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046

The Bill and Ted University was filmed at the Japanese Garden of the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys, California.  The location has been used in countless TV shows and films, notably serving as the “Starfleet Academy” in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.”  Other TV shows to film there include the original “Knight Rider,” “Murder She Wrote” and the original “Charmed.”  Films such as “Bio-Dome,” “Rising Sun,” “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” “Zoombies” and “Most Wanted” also filmed at the location.

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LOCATION: 6100 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Bill and Ted face off against the Grim Reaper, played by William Sadler, at the famous Vasquez Rocks.  One of the most popular filming locations in all of California, the iconic rocks have appeared in such films as “Dante’s Peak,” “Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back,” “Hail, Caesar!,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Paul” and dozens more.  Television shows which featured Vasquez Rocks in episodes include “The Fugutive,” “The A-Team,” “MacGuyver” and perhaps most famous of all, the original “Star Trek” series, where the rocks were seen in numerous episodes, serving as multiple different planets. The rocks have also been seen in music videos for Michael Jackson, 311 and many more, as well as countless commercials.

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LOCATION: 10700 Escondido Canyon Rd, Agua Dulce, CA 91350

Related articles: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)