A look at how ‘Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure’ filmed in Phoenix | Phoenix New Times
Navigation

A look back at how ‘Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure’ filmed in Phoenix

Take a trip back in time to when the Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter sci-fi comedy was filmed around Phoenix in 1987. Party on, dudes!
Alex Winter (center) and Keanu Reeves (right) clown around during the filming of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" in the Phoenix area.
Alex Winter (center) and Keanu Reeves (right) clown around during the filming of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" in the Phoenix area. Phillip Caruso
Share this:
Strange things were afoot at the Circle K and other local spots back in 1987 when “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” was filmed in the Valley. The legendary sci-fi comedy classic starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as the time-traveling slacker duo of Bill S. Preston and Ted “Theodore” Logan was primarily shot at locations in the Phoenix area.

During a three-month period from February to April 1987, scenes from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” were filmed at locations like Golfland Sunsplash in Mesa, Coronado High School in Scottsdale, the AMF Village Lanes in Tempe and the now-defunct Metrocenter mall in north Phoenix.

In honor of the 35th anniversary of the movie, which opened on February 17, 1989, here's a look at some rare photos and behind-the-scenes snapshots of the filming of "Bill & Ted" in the Valley that were provided to Phoenix New Times.

Party on, dudes.
click to enlarge
Alex Winter (left) and Keanu Reeves (right) at a now-defunct Tempe location of Circle K at Hardy Drive and Southern Avenue in 1987. Scenes where Bill and Ted first encounter Rufus (played by the late George Carlin) and utter the phrase “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K” were filmed outside of the store.
click to enlarge
A trio of “future elders” from “Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" (from left): rock stars Martha Davis, Clarence Clemons and Fee Waybill. The scene was set in San Dimas of the year 2688 and was filmed at the now-demolished Carefree Studios in Scottsdale.
click to enlarge
The primary cast of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" at a photo shoot in Phoenix during filming in 1987.
click to enlarge
Alex Winter (left) and Keanu Reeves (right) with Billy the Kid actor Dan Shor (center) during a scene set in the San Dimas police station that was shot at a vacant office building in Scottsdale.
click to enlarge
The late George Carlin as Rufus. "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" was one of the actor and comedian's first major film roles.
click to enlarge
Actors Keanu Reeves, Robert V. Barron, Alex Winter, Rod Loomis, and Clifford David filming in Metrocenter's food court.
colaimages/Alamy Stock Photo
click to enlarge
The late George Carlin as Rufus during a photo shoot for "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" during filming for the movie in Phoenix.
click to enlarge
Stuntmen from "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" during filming at the now-demolished Carefree Studios in 1987.
click to enlarge
Alex Winter plays Bill S. Preston Esq. in a scene filmed in the Wild West town at the now-demolished Carefree Studios in Scottsdale.
click to enlarge
Key set production assistant Connie Hoy with Beethoven actor Clifford David outside of East High School in Phoenix.
Connie Hoy
click to enlarge
Alex Winter (right) with Joan of Arc actress Jane Wiedlin (left) during the filming of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" at the now-demolished East High School in Phoenix.
click to enlarge
Joan of Arc actress and former Go-Go's guitarist Jane Wiedlin (center) with crew members from "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure."
click to enlarge
The late George Carlin as Rufus on set at the Circle K at Southern Avenue and Hardy Drive in Tempe.
click to enlarge
Keanu Reeves (right) with Beethoven actor Clifford David (left) in a deleted scene from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” that was filmed at the now-demolished East High School in Phoenix.
click to enlarge
Historical figures from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (from left): Al Leong as Genghis Khan, Jane Wiedlin as Joan of Arc, Rod Loomis as Sigmund Freud, Tony Steedman as Socrates, Robert V. Barron as Abraham Lincoln and Clifford David as Ludwig van Beethoven during a scene filmed at East High School in Phoenix that was cut from the movie.
Entertainment Pictures/Alamy Stock Photo
click to enlarge
Key set production assistant Connie Hoy (left) with location manager Rick Rothen at now-defunct Phoenix mall Metrocenter in 1987 during filming of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure." Crew members joked that
Connie Hoy
click to enlarge
The late actor Tony Steedman as Socrates at the ice-skating rink at now-defunct Phoenix mall Metrocenter.
click to enlarge
Beethoven actor Clifford David (left) with the late Roy Forge Smith, the production designer for “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” during filming at now-defunct mall Metrocenter in Phoenix.
click to enlarge
Genghis Khan actor Al Leong (right) and crew member Connie Hoy inside Sam Goody at Metrocenter in 1987.
Connie Hoy
click to enlarge
Keanu Reeves (left) and Alex Winter (right) in a scene filmed in Tempe that was ultimately cut from "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure."
Moviestore Collection Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo
click to enlarge
Beethoven actor Clifford David while rehearsing for scenes filmed at now-defunct mall Metrocenter in Phoenix.
Connie Hoy
click to enlarge
Alex Winter (center left) and Keanu Reeves (center right) with actress Kimberley Kates (far left) and Diane Franklin during a prom scene filmed at East High School in Phoenix that was cut from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”
AJ Pics/Alamy Stock Photo
click to enlarge
A group photo of the cast and crew of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" at the now-demolished East High School in Phoenix.
Connie Hoy
click to enlarge
Keanu Reeves (left) and Alex Winter (right) in a scene set in 1879 that was filmed at the now-demolished Carefree Studios in Scottsdale.
Moviestore Collection Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo
KEEP NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. Your membership allows us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls. You can support us by joining as a member for as little as $1.