St Elmo’s Fire, 1985


Joel Schumacher


visit the film locations

Washington DC: Getting there: International flights to Dulles International Airport

Domestic: Reagan National Airport, smaller but much closer to downtown DC

Tourist info: Washington, DC Convention and Tourism Corporation 901 7th Street NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20001-3719 (tel: 202.789.7000)

Georgetown: Cultural Tourism DC


Apart from The Exorcist (which also featured the real Tombs), Georgetown is seen again in Roger Donaldson’s The Recruit, with Al Pacino and Colin Farrell. The glitzy Georgetown Shopping Mall features in James Cameron’s True Lies, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and No Way Out, Roger Donaldson again, with Kevin Costner

St Elmo's Fire location: The Tombs, Georgetown, WashingtonDC

St Elmo’s Fire location: Inspiration for the ‘St Elmo’s’ bar: The Tombs, Georgetown, Washington DC

Photograph courtesy Nils Reucker

College kids come to terms with the real world in Joel Schumacher’s archetypal 80s bratpack movie.

The locale is the studenty area of Georgetown, northwest Washington DC, and much of the movie was filmed around here.

The ‘St Elmo’s Bar’ itself, though mocked up in the studio in Hollywood, was based on The Tombs, 1226 36th Street NW (opposite the house seen in that other Georgetown-set movie, The Exorcist).

The bar exterior seen in the film is a couple of blocks east: Third Edition, 1218 Wisconsin Avenue at M Street.

You might reasonably assume that the university is Georgetown University, but the university authorities put paid to filming on their premises (though they had no problem with The Exorcist).The campus seen is the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.

More scenes were filmed at a house on Prosser Dam Road, Truckee, central California.

And further scenes were shot back in Los Angeles, at the old bank building, 650 South Spring Street, downtown, seen in All Of Me, Marathon Man, Seven, The Mask and Spider-Man 2.

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