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Georgetown-set ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ turns 30

Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Mare Winningham and Andrew McCarthy starred in “St. Elmo’s Fire,” which turned 30 this weekend. Photo Copyright 1985 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

“St. Elmo’s Fire,” the movie that helped launch the tribe of actors who dominated 1980s films as the “Brat Pack” — and forever cemented Georgetown bar The Tombs in popular culture — celebrated its 30th birthday last weekend.

The flick featured a group of former Georgetown classmates navigating post-graduation life, and the titular “St. Elmo’s” was a bar modeled after the Tombs, a popular Hoya watering hole. (Actual filming took place on a set crafted to look like the Tombs interior; since Georgetown officials gave the film crew the thumbs-down, the University of Maryland stood in for the campus.)

Much like ageless actress Demi Moore, who played group’s hard-partying drama queen in the movie, the Tombs hasn’t changed much since the era of a single-earringed Rob Lowe. Most of the art on the walls has been hanging there since the joint opened in 1962, says manager Chris George. One update: The Tombs has since ditched those red-and-white check tablecloths that featured in many a shot.

The bar didn’t mark the film’s anniversary — no “St. Elmo’s flaming shots” on special, say — but that’s not because the millennials who now down pints in the brick-walled bar aren’t familiar with the film, which got tepid reviews and never enjoyed “The Breakfast Club”-like levels of cult status.

“I think many of them have seen it — it’s about Georgetown kids,” George says. “They’ll probably see it at some point or another.”

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