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.”

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

Les falls asleep during driver’s ed class and dreams about speeding around in the alley behind this building in Downtown Los Angeles. It has been featured in countless films and television series, including “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Divergent,” “The Muppets,” “Wrath Of Man,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Unlawful Entry,” “Inspector Gadget,” “Child’s Play 2” and dozens more.

LOCATION: 635 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

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