Way before Twilight, way before Buffy, vampire fans had The Lost Boys.
The 1987 movie starred Corey Haim, the troubled teen star who was found dead today, apparently of a drug overdose, as well as Kiefer Sutherland and Haim’s frequent co-star/sometime nemesis/mistaken identity twin , Corey Feldman. I, along with every other teen girl I knew (the movie came out my senior year in high school) saw it not once, but several times (hey, Jason Patric was hot, even if he didn’t really make it out of the ’80s).
But what I always remembered most about the movie was the creepy amusement park on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk where the vampire clan found their human prey. Growing up in the landlocked Midwest, I was fascinated with the idea of roller coasters overlooking the ocean and while I never made it to Santa Cruz, I made it a point to visit the park on the Santa Monica Pier during one of my first trips to LA.
Built in 1907, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is California’s oldest amusement park, hosting the first Miss California pageant in 1924. In that same year, the park’s trademark wooden roller coaster, The Big Dipper, opened.
Through renovations in the 1980s, 90s and early part of this century, the Boardwalk stayed relevant while other seaside amusement parks were torn down. During the summer (starting June 18 this year), bands from the ’70s and ’80s play free concerts on Friday nights. Last year’s lineup included the Fixx and the Smithereens. If I was in marketing for the Boardwalk, I’d try to book a Lost Boys tribute concert this summer – how cool would it be to hear Echo & the Bunnymen play their version of People Are Strange (which was on EVERYONE’s mix tapes in 1987 – don’t deny it!) there on site?
UPDATE: The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk plans to put the following statement on their Facebook page: The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is saddened by the news of Corey Haim¹s passing. We remember him fondly from his role in Lost Boys, one of the most popular movies filmed here.
Says spokeswoman Brigid Fuller in an email: “A lot of movies have been made at the Boardwalk, but Lost Boys is the one we get the most questions about. I recently talked to some guests from Irelandwho knew our park from Lost Boys. When we showed Lost Boys outside on the beach during our Centennial celebration in 2007, we had a huge turnout.”
There’ s no movie tour per se listed on the Santa Cruz County Tourism Board’s website. They do have a list of movies that have been filmed in the area, which besides The Lost Boys, includes Harold & Maude and Dangerous Minds. For those who want to go to the Boardwalk, admission is free, although the rides and attractions cost between $3 to $5 (there’s also all-day wristbands and season passes that you can buy).
RIP, Corey Haim. Here’s hoping the other Corey and all of the other child stars we loved in the ’80s don’t meet a similar fate.
Have you ever visited a place, just because it was in a movie, book or TV show? (I’ve done so, many times – most recently in Rome, where I took an Angels & Demons tour, and in Volterra, where I did a story on New Moon locations). Tell me your favorites below!