Revenge Of The Nerds movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Revenge Of The Nerds filmed?

1984

About Revenge Of The Nerds

Jeff Kanew directed Revenge of the Nerds with the premise focused on a group of outcasts attending the fictional Adams College. The comedy film stars Robert Carradine (Lewis Skolnick), Ted McGinley (Harvey Gable), Anthony Edwards (Gilbert Lowe), and the late Bernie Casey (U.N. Jefferson).

They say that there’s a little bit of nerd in each of us, and that is the aspect of the film that carries the day. The relatability factor keeps audiences rooting for the underdogs, who in this are the varsity’s nerds.

In an act of carelessness, the Alpha Betas, which is predominantly made up of the varsity football players, raze down their fraternity house. Coach Harris (John Goodman) urges the jocks to commandeer the freshmen’s dorms. It leaves the freshmen out on the street but thankfully, Dean Ulich (David Wohl) puts them up in the gymnasium temporarily.

Given that it’s also Greek season, the freshmen rush to join the school’s fraternities. Lewis and a group of other offbeat students don’t make the cut, but they secure a rundown house near campus. The group of misfits repairs the residence to livable condition but the Betas aren’t too happy with the turn of events.

Stan Gable, the Betas ring leader, and his fraternity mates go on a rampage, pulling pranks at the expense of the geeks. Attempting to put an end to the hazing from the jocks, they gain membership in the Greek Council via the Tri-Lambs, a black fraternity headed by U.N. Jefferson. The harassment intensifies when the misfits go after the Greek Council presidency by competing during the Greek Games.

At the Homecoming Pep Rally, Gilbert gathers the courage to deliver a rousing speech detailing the discrimination they’ve faced. Dean Ulich instructs the Tri-Lamb to move into the Betas frat house while the latter put up at the gym until they can repair the Tri house they vandalized.

City Locations

Tucson

Location Types

Hotels/Motels, Gyms/Sports, Schools/Colleges

Location Styles

Bed & Breakfast, Hotel/Motel-style

Revenge Of The Nerds Locations

For about eight weeks in 1984, the University of Arizona transformed into the Adams College for the Revenge of the Nerds production. The University of Arizona officials tried to halt filming, given that the movie essentially pokes fun at the Greek/sorority system.

The faculty felt anxious about how the teen movie would paint the educational institution with the perceived notion that it heavily contained raunchy scenes and came off as sexist. Kanew won the sororities over by explaining that the premise focused on the ultimate victories of the underdogs.

Both students and school officials took part in the filming process, and the filmmakers reportedly donated $10,000 towards the improvement of the handicap facilities around the campus.

For a varsity-based film, it isn’t surprising that the bulk of filming took place at the University. Besides the campus, the team also filmed some scenes around Tucson. Here’s a deep dive into the filming locations of Revenge of the Nerds and a recap of some of the best scenes in the comedy film.

Fun fact:

Revenge of the Nerds gave Anthony Edwards and John Goodman their breakthroughs in the industry. Edwards shared the screen with Tom Cruise in Top Gun and he also starred in ER. Goodman now has a long list of credits to his name including The Big Lebowski and Roseanne.

Freshmen kicked out of dorms scene in Revenge Of The Nerds

Cochise Hall, University of Arizona

After carelessly starting a fire and burning down their frat house, the Alpha Betas embark on a mission to take over the freshmen dorms. Acting at Coach Harris’s behest, Stan leads the mission.

He riles up his frat brothers saying, “Thanks to faulty wiring we have no place to live, right.? And these freshmen are sitting pretty in there, and as of now, that dorm is ours, any room you want.” What follows is a montage of hilarious scenes, as the Betas literally throw the freshmen out of the building and some are even tossed out through the windows.

This is amongst the factual on-location filming locations used by the Revenge of the Nerds production crew. The scenes were filmed at the Cochise Hall located at1018 E South Campus.

Another familiar on-campus location seen in the film includes the Computer Center. Although the Old Main building wasn’t featured in the film, the Memorial Fountain had a screen cameo for the scene where Gilbert is thrown in the pool of water.

Hop onto the SMRT or 106 bus to visit the filming location.

First-year students learn new accommodation is gym scene in Revenge Of The Nerds

Bear Down Gymnasium, University of Arizona

After getting the boot from their dorms, Coach Harris promises to ensure that each freshman is taken care of in terms of food and shelter. The swarm of new campus students follow him and Dean Ulich to their new accommodation which turns out to be the school gymnasium.

Giving an unconvincing pep talk to the displeased freshmen at the gym Dean Ulich says, “I know this move has probably been sudden for all of you, and you are probably all still very disoriented. I do want to assure you that this move is in no way permanent, it’s only temporary.”

The University of Arizona’s Bear Down Gymnasium provided the setting for the Revenge of the Nerds scene. Formerly known as the Men’s Gymnasium, the multi-use facility has a capacity of 300. In 1990, the arena earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

The building housing the gymnasium has gone through several renovations through the years. Most notably, the campus included the student tutoring center known as Think Tank.

Start your locations tour by hopping onto bus 105X, 5, 15, or 3 to get to the Bear Down Gymnasium.

The nerds exert revenge on the Pi Delta Pis scene in Revenge Of The Nerds

Catalina Park Inn, 309 East 1st Street, Tucson

The Pi Delta Pi sorority gets along with the Alpha Betas and even joins in on hazing the geeks. Betty Childs (Julie Montgomery), Stan’s girlfriend, is a member of the sorority, and they memorably disrupt the party hosted by the Omega Mu and the nerds.

The Pis and Betas release pigs at the party, but the nerds retaliate by pulling similar pranks at the expense of the two fraternities. In ninja fashion, the group of nerds break into the Pis sorority house and move from room to room grabbing undergarments. It brings to mind Stan’s words, “Times are changing, Betty. those nerds are a threat to our way of life.”

The Pi Delta Pi Sorority House scenes were filmed at the Catalina Park Inn. The bed and breakfast was an upscale establishment constructed in 1927. The highlights included the surrounding desert gardens, homemade cookies, and refined rooms.

Located at 309 East 1st Street, Tucson, the Inn has since permanently closed its doors. However, it’s still worth a visit if only to snap some photos at the Revenge of the Nerds filming location.

The Betas trash the Tri-Lambs house scene in Revenge Of The Nerds

Pima Friends Meeting House, 931 North 5th Avenue, Tucson

After rushing and failing to secure spots at any of the varsity’s fraternities, the nerds get a reprieve from moving into a residence nearby. Still, they set out to try and make it into the Greek Council and that means joining one of the school’s frat houses.

Given that one of them is black, they are able to win favor with the Lambda Lambda Lambda fraternity, known as Tri-Lamb in short. They also compete during the homecoming Greek Games under the Tri-Lambs.

After losing out to the Tri-Lambs, the Betas strike back by trashing the Tri-Lamb’s house. That’s after some nudging once again from Coach Harris who tells them, “Well, if I was you, I'd do something about it. I would get up and redeem myself in the eyes of my father, my Maker, and my coach."

The Tri-Lamb Fraternity House scenes were filmed at the Pima Friends Meeting House. Located at 931 North 5th Avenue, the religious-based establishment hosts worship gatherings. Make your way to the Revenge of the Nerds filming location via the MFL or BSL subway. The Meeting House is within a walking distance of the Market-Frankford subway stop.

The Alpha Betas burn their house scene in Revenge Of The Nerds

Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity House, University of Arizona

One of the earlier scenes that gets the movie started is the party scene at the Alpha Betas frat house. While drinking, they egg Booger (Curtis Armstrong) to play around with booze flamethrowers. After taking a swig of liquor, the flamethrower spits it out towards an ignited lighter. The result is a ball of fire that thrills the partygoers.

After miscalculating his aim and blowing the flame towards the curtains, the flamethrower accidentally sparks a fire. The flames engulf the Betas frat house in a matter of seconds, and the partygoers scamper to safety.

Outside the burning building, the partygoers start making smores, not bothering too much about the fire. As they watch firefighters trying to put out the flames the crowd chants, “Our house, our house, our house is burning down.”

The Alpha Beta House scenes were filmed at the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity House at 638 East, University Boulevard. However, the Beta Theta Pi House, located on University Boulevard, is where they filmed the exterior scenes of the burned-down Beta House.

Initiation scene in Revenge Of The Nerds

Tucson Scottish Rite Cathedral

When Betty sends Gilbert and Lewis to rush with the Betas, they walk into an ominously dark, candle-lit room. They are greeted by the Betas, who are clad in cult-style hoods, in chant. One of the Betas approaches the two and whispers that they seem cool.

He then presents them with condoms saying that they’ll need them later. Gilbert asks, “Rubbers, what will we need rubbers for?” A bleating goat interrupts and as the initiation progresses, the duo realizes they are being hazed.

The Tucson Scottish Rite Cathedral, located at160 South Scott Ave, provided the backdrop for the Revenge of the Nerds scene. The classic architecture makes it stand out, with tall columns and detailed carvings.

In 1979 the building earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Other historic buildings neighbor the Cathedral, including the Tucson Children’s Museum and the Owls Club Bar. Take Bus 17 to get to the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

Conclusion

Anyone who is considering setting out on a Revenge of the Nerds location tour is in luck because there are plenty of references. Other locations that you should check out for a photo op include the entrance to Adams College located at the University of Arizona. You’ll find the precise location at the intersection of East University Boulevard and North Park Avenue.

For the carnival and fundraiser scenes, the production team filmed at Texas A&M University’s Kyle Field. The Greek Games scenes were shot between East University Boulevard and East 4th Street on Cherry Avenue.

The Arizona Stadium also received some screen time in the teen movie. While not featured in the film, the University of Connecticut deserves a mention because it’s home to the real-life Lambda Lambda Lambda fraternity. The co-ed social frat came into being in 2006.

The Tri-Lamb focuses on enriching its members’ enjoyment of pop culture. In terms of joining, they don’t discriminate and welcome all regardless of gender, orientation, race, religion, or class.