• Matt

BEETLEJUICE

Updated: Apr 7



Beetlejuice is a 1988 American fantasy comedy film directed by Tim Burton, produced by The Geffen Company, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The plot revolves around a recently deceased married couple, Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis), who become ghosts haunting their former home, and an obnoxious, devious poltergeist named Betelgeuse (pronounced and occasionally spelled Beetlejuice in the film and portrayed by Michael Keaton) from the Netherworld who tries to scare away the new inhabitants (Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones, and Winona Ryder).


Beetlejuice was a critical and commercial success, grossing US$73.8 million from a budget of US$15 million. It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and three Saturn Awards: Best Horror Film, Best Makeup, and Best Supporting Actress for Sylvia Sidney. The film's success spawned an animated television series, video games, and a 2018 stage musical (which Team H went to go and see on Broadway in New York City).


While the setting is the fictional village of Winter River, Connecticut, all outdoor scenes were filmed in East Corinth, a small village in the town of Corinth, Vermont which has no more than 300 residents. Interiors were filmed at The Culver Studios in Culver City, California. Principal photography began on March 11, 1987.


Team H took a trip up to East Corinth to visit the many locations in the town and whilst we were there we happened to have a chance encounter with Wade Pierson who is the vice president of the Northeast Slopes ski area. He saw us with cameras in hand and pulled over in his car to ask us "Find everything?". He instantly knew what we were doing and he was so helpful in giving us more insight and stories regards the movie and the locations used in East Corinth. He said that he and a group are responsible for putting up the pictures of the movie stills at the locations that were used and that they have more plans for the future in helping people enjoy all things Beetlejuice when they come to visit. We would like to thank Wade for taking the time to stop and being so friendly and helpful.


 

THE MAITLINS HOUSE

DATE(S) VISITED: NOV 20, 2021
MAP

The Maitland's house was especially constructed for the film and sadly dismantled afterwards. Although the house is no longer there you can still see the hill whence it once stood. The driveway that lead to the house as seen in the film has also been taken away and only the drive that leads to a farmhouse part way up remains. We did not venture onto the hill on foot as we wanted to respect the property and not trespass onto somebody's land without permission.


Hollywood trickery was used on the driveway that lead to the bottom of the hill. In the film the red covered bridge is seen at the base of the hill where the house stands, but in reality the bridge is roughly half a mile away within the town. The angles filmed of the exterior of the house were carefully done as not to expose this.


A couple of fun facts. During the time that the crew were here they used the open interior of the house as a basketball court to pass time when not filming. Also, the roof of the house was made from painted canvas that would sag, so for the exterior shots, the building was pressurized with giant fans to make the roof puff up.



We had to take our Adam and Barbara monster masks that we got for our Halloween costumes back in 2020. It was a much needed photo opportunity at the house location for sure.


 

COVERED BRIDGE

DATE(S) VISITED: NOV 20, 2021
MAP

As stated above, Hollywood trickery made it look like the red covered bridge was at the base of the hill where the house stood, but in actuality it is within the confines of the town itself. The original bridge that stood in the spot was a single lane affair, today it has been widened to a double lane. The library can be seen in the background of the East facing shots.



After filming had finished the red cover built especially for the film was taken down and repurposed as a shelter for the motor that powers the oldest continuous ski tow in the USA on the North East Slopes ski site just a few miles away. A picture of a still from the movie on the side of the building shows it's famous past. You are very much encouraged and welcome to visit this building anytime of the year to check it out. For directions to this location click here.


 

THE LIBRARY

DATE(S) VISITED: NOV 20, 2021
MAP

The original library that stood here sadly burnt down in 1945 and a new, much simpler, building was erected to replace it. The library that was seen in the movie was actually a wooden replica of the original building and was constructed over the top of the one that stands there today. We can only think that Tim Burton wanted the original building to be featured as it is a much larger and grander design, and so would be easier to see in the shots that it was used for, especially the scene where Charles Deetz is looking at the library through his binoculars and the line... "Nice building. Bad roof. Gooood parking".


 

HARDWARE STORE

DATE(S) VISITED: NOV 20, 2021
MAP

The store back in the day of filming was a general store and dressed up to look like a hardware store. Sadly, on our visit the building is just a shell of it's former self. We really hope that the owner of the property may be able to restore this iconic and historic place or sell it on to someone that can.



The garages attached to the property next door to the store were converted to look like the Winter River Fire Dept. Ironically enough, when we were here a Volvo station wagon was actually parked out front recreating the shot somewhat.


 

MISS SHANNONS SCHOOL FOR GIRLS

DATE(S) VISITED: NOV 20, 2021
MAP

While portrayed as a schoolhouse in the film, it is actually the still-utilized East Corinth Masonic Lodge. After speaking with Wade Pierson on our chance encounter with him, he said that in maybe 3-5 years the place will be turning into a non-profit performing arts center, which will certainly give the town an opportunity to put on more Beetlejuice events.


 

CHURCH AND GRAVEYARD

DATE(S) VISITED: NOV 20, 2021
MAP

In the opening titles a camera pans over the town and we catch a glimpse of the church with a graveyard opposite. The graveyard was a set piece put together, outside the historic Box B Ranch, which was also used to build a lot of the on location sets. Some of the gravestones are in storage at the East Corinth Historical Society which they bring out to display at special Halloween occasions.


 

BEETLEJUICE ON BROADWAY

DATE(S) VISITED: AUG 17, 2019

In 2016, work began on a Broadway stage musical adaptation of the film directed by Alex Timbers, produced by Warner Bros., with music and lyrics by Eddie Perfect and the musical book written by Scott Brown and Anthony King. The musical was debuted by readings starring Christopher Fitzgerald with the second featuring Kris Kukul as musical director and Connor Gallagher as choreographer. The musical premiered its pre-Broadway tryout at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. for a limited run from October 14 to November 18, 2018, with Alex Brightman in the title role.


Team H went to see the show on 17 August, 2019. The story was changed to fit the stage show and it was seen more so from Lydia's point of view rather than the Maitland's, and Alex Brightman's Beetlejuice certainly had more showtime than Michael Keaton's 17 minutes on screen. The first act was very strong and driven, although the second act the story lost pace and the stage sets lacked some thought, it kind of sapped some of the energy from the original with it's sorrowful storyline. The puppeteering and costume design was certainly on point and the musical score was done really well. Overall it was amazing, despite them totally dropping the ball on the Netherworld and it being way too Lydia-centric.


In December 2019, the producers announced that the production would play its final performance at the Winter Garden on June 6, 2020, to make way for a revival of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. The producers sought to find a theatre to transfer the show to, but the run was cut short when Broadway was shut down in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BUT! Good news at last! It was announced back in September 2021 that the show will be returning to Broadway and a date has been set. Beetlejuice will play its first show on Friday, April 8, 2022. Subsequent productions are set to open across the world, including a North American national tour.


 

Beetlejuice is certainly a cult classic and a Halloween favorite for many people and we wholly recommend any fans of the franchise go check out the sleepy town of East Corinth. For even more photo's that we took of the locations featured above, check them out via our Facebook page (coming soon). Also check out the Blake Memorial Library's Flickr account for some amazing photo's that were taken during filming.

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