The classic naval aviation movie, “Top Gun” turns 30 this month and San Diego’s Hotel Del Coronado will pay tribute to the flick with a series of events Friday.
The Del plans to celebrate national “Top Gun Day” to the max with events throughout the property that span everything from fitness sessions to live music.
For those who “feel the need for speed,” the hotel kicked off “Top Gun Day” with an early morning beachfront spin class set to remixes from the movie’s soundtrack.
From 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., the hotel will offer “Top Gun” themed treatments at its Spa at The Del, including the “Take My Breath Away Oxygen Facial” and the “Maverick Manicure.”
From 11:30 a.m. to sunset, The Del’s Sun Deck will serve “Top Gun” themed cocktails. From 1 p.m. to sunset, guests can buy TOMS-brand aviators similar to the style of sunglasses popularized in the film and snap a photo behind “Top Gun” cutouts.
At night – from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. – an outdoor screening of “Top Gun” will go down on The Del’s Windsor Lawn. Organizers say the screening is free and will be open seating. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.
Before the screening, at 7:40 p.m., there will be a question and answer session with current and former U.S. fighter pilots. The discussion will be moderated by Capt. Jim “Guido” DiMatteo, U.S. Navy (Ret).
Finally, fans can toast to Goose and Maverick (Tom Cruise) and relive the memorable music of the movie at the hotel’s B&S Bar where, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Coronado musician Gonzo Gonzales will play “Top Gun” classic as patrons sip on special themed cocktails.
Organizers say a portion of food and drink sales from The Del’s “Top Gun Day” festivities will be donated to Wings Over America, a foundation that awards college scholarships to dependents of those in the Navy aviation community.
“Top Gun” carries special significance in San Diego, as parts of the
San Diego has strong ties to “Top Gun,” as parts of the movie were filmed in San Diego, including in the restaurant-turned-landmark, Kansas City Barbeque.
The movie’s unforgettable final scene – in which Tom Cruise’s character, Maverick, reunites with Kelly McGillis’ character, Charlie, as “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” plays on the jukebox – was filmed at the BBQ joint on Harbor Drive.
Each year, the eatery celebrates the movie’s anniversary, and this year is no different. Kansas City Barbeque will run “Top Gun” food and drink deals and events through May 19, and will also sell 30th anniversary commemorative merchandise.
On Sunday, the BBQ eatery is showing the movie and has special deals, including $1 hot dogs, $1 ribs, $1 fries and $1 soft drinks.
On Saturday, one of the actors of "Top Gun" who also served as the technical consultant of the film, Peter Pettigrew, dropped by the joint. Pettigrew played McGillis' love interest prior to her relationship with Maverick.
Over at Liberty Station in Point Loma, the brand-new luxury movie theater, THE LOT, will also get in on the “Top Gun” action, presenting 6:45 p.m. showings of the movie Friday through May 18. The theater’s location has ties to the movie, as it sits in a building that formerly housed the historic Navy Training Center’s LUCE Auditorium.
Some “Top Gun” scenes were filmed throughout Liberty Station, which was formerly the site of Naval Training Center San Diego from 1923 to 1997. Many of the individual structures at Liberty Station are designated as historic by the City of San Diego, and the site is on the National Register of Historic Places.