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Wednesday July 17th 2024

St Elmo's Fire | 1985

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, the now-closed Third Edition, which stood at 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, about ten miles northeast of DC, in 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 Bridesmaids, Marathon Man, Seven, The Mask and Spider-Man 2.