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California tourism promoter enlists 'Top Gun' and 'Lost Boys'

California's tourism promoter partners with British entertainment company to show Golden State-set movies in London and draw British tourists to the state.

August 25, 2011|By Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times

The California Travel and Tourism Commission has recruited Goose, Maverick and a bunch of vampires to help draw tourists from England to the Golden State.

In the latest campaign to promote the state's $95-billion tourism industry, the commission has partnered with a British entertainment firm to show the 1980s movies "Top Gun" and "The Lost Boys" at London's Canary Wharf during the first weekend of September.

Both movies are set in California.

"Top Gun" is set at the Naval Air Station Miramar (known currently as Marine Corps Air Station Miramar) outside San Diego. The film followed two pilot trainees — nicknamed Goose and Maverick — through flight school at the storied facility.

"The Lost Boys," a movie about a gang of teenage vampires, is set in a fictitious California beach town called Santa Carla, although much of the movie was filmed in Santa Cruz, the coastal town south of San Francisco.

The films will be shown by Future Cinema, a live-event company that shows movies at unusual locations in England.

The idea behind the campaign is to promote a California lifestyle and spark interest in visiting the state.

About 683,000 travelers from Britain visited California in 2010, most of them for vacation. Visitors from Britain and Ireland generate $688 million in spending annually, according to the travel and tourism commission.

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