Free Movies on the Beach

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Movies

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has been featured in a lot of movies — Dangerous Minds, Sudden Impact, Harold and Maude, and The Lost Boys, to name a few — but that’s not its only tie to cinema.  The Boardwalk also hosts free movies on the beach Wednesday nights every summer at 9:00 p.m.

And to make it even better, Wednesdays after 5 p.m. are Pepsi Nights, meaning unlimited ride wristbands only cost $14.95 if you bring an empty Pepsi can.  You can tire yourself out by working in a full four hours of rides, then lay back on a beach towel or lean back in a low beach chair and watch the big screen on the beach with your friends, family, or special someone.

Traffic and parking around the Boardwalk can get pretty crazy, so if you don’t want to miss any of the movie, arrive early or travel by some way other than car if you can. Some great alternatives include walking, biking, taking the metro bus, taking the twenty-five cent trolley from downtown.

santa cruz boardwalk movies

The crowd at the Boardwalk, watching Goonies. Photo Credit: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Most of the movies played are family-oriented, with the exception of Santa Cruz native horror film The Lost Boys, about kids turned vampires turned loose on the fictional town of Santa Carla.  If you show up for The Lost Boys, expect lots of fanfare — the film’s star Corey Feldman performed with his band before the movie in 2010, and in 2007 many cast members showed up to sign autographs. In 2013, vampire wrestlers from WWE battled it out before the feature presentation.

But no matter what movie you go to watch, it’s the surreal experience of feeling the salty ocean air while looking up at the big screen that will make the night memorable.

2017 Santa Cruz Boardwalk Movies

June 21The Lost Boys
June 28Back to the Future
July 5Grease
July 12Gremlins
July 19Clueless
July 26Shrek
Aug. 2Ghostbusters (1984)
Aug. 9The Little Rascals
Aug. 16The Princess Bride

Photo Credit: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

About Blair Stenvick

Blair Stenvick is a freelance writer who has lived in Santa Cruz for four years.