‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ returns to San Diego theaters on Thursday for 40th anniversary

A photo from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," with its actors, from left, Anthony Edwards, Sean Penn and Eric Stoltz.
(Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

The 1982 film ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ was inspired by San Diego’s own Clairemont High School


It has been 40 years since “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” hit theaters and introduced the world to what life was like at Clairemont High School in San Diego in 1979, and the film will return to theaters on Thursday to celebrate the anniversary.

Writer and director Cameron Crowe famously “attended” the local high school that year to collect stories and information for a book he released in 1981 called “Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story.” The book was later turned into a film, which was released in 1982.

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Its cast includes actors who are still major stars today, including Forest Whitaker, Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Often referred to as a movie about “sex, drugs and rock n’ roll” it was described, at the time by famed movie-reviewer Roger Ebert as “so raunchy, however, that the audience can’t quite believe it.”

Iconic Events is distributing the film across the country on Thursday, and that includes several theaters in San Diego County. The showing will include a Q&A with director Amy Heckerling and Paul Thomas Anderson.

Check out for tickets. Here is a list of showtimes:

Theatre Box
701 5th Ave.
7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

AMC Fashion Valley 18
7037 Friars Road
3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

AMC Mission Valley 20
1640 Camino Del Rio North
3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

AMC La Jolla 12
8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, Suite 129
3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Regal Edwards Mira Mesa
10733 Westview Parkway
7:30 p.m.

Regal Escondido
350 W. Valley Parkway
7:30 p.m.

River Village Cinema is D’Place
5256 South Mission Road
7:15 p.m.

Regal Edwards Temecula
40750 Winchester Road
7:30 p.m.