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.

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.”

gremlins6

LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

License To Drive (1988)

The 1988 comedy “License to Drive,” starring Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, was filmed in Southern California. The high school where Les Anderson, played by Haim, sees Mercedes Lane, played by Heather Graham, being picked up by her boyfriend is Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood.  This same school was seen in the films “Role Models” and “Accepted,” as well as the TV shows “Malcolm in the Middle” and “7th Heaven.”

LOCATION: 4525 Irvine Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91602

Here is the house where Les lives with his family.

LOCATION: 536 Dalehurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Here his the home where a friend of Mercedes lives.

LOCATION: 661 Woodruff Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

This his the house where Mercedes lives.

LOCATION: 485 Loring Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Wes takes Mercedes on a date to the El Rey Theatre.

LOCATION: 5515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Archie’s Atomic Drive-in restaurant, where Les and Dean, played by Corey Feldman, flee after denting the door of a nearby car was filmed at Johnie’s Broiler in Downey.  The restaurant has a unique history, having appeared in many other films, such as “Heat,” “The Game,” “Short Cuts,” “My Stepmother Is An Alien,” “One Hour Photo” and many more.  In 2007, the building was unfortunately demolished.  However, Bob’s Big Boy purchased the property years later and rebuilt it based on the original blueprints and even some of the same materials.  So what stands now closely resembles what was seen in the film.

heat21

LOCATION: 7447 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA 90241

Dean’s house has unfortunately been completely remodeled and no longer appears anything like how it did in the film.

LOCATION: 6313 Riggs Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Gremlins (1984)

The 1984 film “Gremlins” was shot mostly at Warner Bros Studios in Burbank, California.  In the opening of the film, set in Chinatown, Mr. Peltzer emerges from this alley.  This was filmed on the Warner Bros. Studios Lot.

gremlins3

LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Here is the Mogwai shop, also located on the Warner Backlot.

gremlins1

LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

gremlins2

The Peltzer house can be found over at the Warner Bros. Ranch.  The ranch is located separate from the main Warner Bros. Studio lot and is unfortunately not open to public tours.

gremlins4

LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Kate, played by Phoebe Cates, lives at this house, located back at the main Warner lot.

gremlins5

LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Billy, played by Zach Galligan, goes to this YMCA pool, which is back on the Warner Bros. Ranch.  The pool also famously appeared in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

christmasvacation1

LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The church in the film is located back over on the main lot of Warner Bros. Studios.  The same church has been seen in countless films, such as “The Lost Boys.”

gremlins6

LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

The house of Mrs. Deagle can also be found on the main Warner lot.  The house was also seen in the TV series “Growing Pains,” as well as the 80s film “The Monster Squad.”

growingpains1

LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

The ‘Burbs (1989)

The 1989 Joe Dante film “The ‘Burbs” is set in the fictional town of Hinkley Hills, which, judging by the opening zoom, would place it somewhere in Iowa.  The story unfolds on Mayfield Place, a cul-de-sac road in Hinkley Hills.  In reality, the entire neighborhood was a facade, filmed on a studio backlot.

Known as Colonial Street at Universal Studios, the houses and streets have changed significantly over the years.  Once used for television classics such as “The Munsters” and “Leave It To Beaver,” the neighborhood was significantly remodeled in 1988 for the production of “The ‘Burbs.”

LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

In the years that followed, as new productions came along, the neighborhood and the homes began to resemble the film less and less.  Some houses were relocated, others heavily redesigned, while others still were demolished altogether.  Eventually the neighborhood became known as Wisteria Lane on the TV drama “Desperate Housewives.”

To complicate matters further, several of the houses in “The ‘Burbs” were deliberately shot in close-ups, rarely seen in wide shots.  Combined with all of the changes over the years, it makes piecing the neighborhood back together a difficult endeavor.

The centerpiece of the film is of course the Klopek house, which is owned by a creepy family that rarely shows themselves, much to the intrigue of all of the surrounding neighbors.  Sadly, the home no longer exists.  Portions, however, were said to have been reused and incorporated in the design of this house, which later became Bree Van de Kamp’s house on “Desperate Housewives.”

theburbs1

The Peterson house, where Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher live, was also unfortunately demolished and replaced with a different facade.

The house that most closely resembles how it appeared in the film is that of Walter, the old man with the small, white dog.  Aside from a paint job and some stairs being added, the house looks pretty much the same.

theburbs2

Ricky Butler, played by Corey Feldman, lives at this house, which was once the home used for “The Munsters,” though it has since been heavily remodeled from how it appeared on the TV series.  Likely looking to avoid comparisons to the show, this house was only ever seen in close-up shots of the porch in “The ‘Burbs.”

theburbs3

Colonial Street can be seen as part of the Universal Studios Hollywood Tour and even though the neighborhood has significantly changed and continues to change, movie and television lovers are still sure to appreciate a look around the historic, fictional neighborhood.

Related articles: Matinee (1993), Small Soldiers (1998)

Stand By Me (1986)

Widely regarded as one of the finest Stephen King adaptations, “Stand By Me” was set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine.  However, the film was actually shot around Oregon.  The boys set about their adventure at this bridge in the small community of Walden.  To find it, you will need to follow the Row River Trail up to Mosby Creek.

standbyme

LOCATION: Row River Trail at Mosby Creek, Cottage Grove, OR 97424