Producer-director Sean S. Cunningham's conception of Spring Break (1983) dates back to his own student days at Stanford University when he vacationed on the Strip in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, USA. Remembering his own experiences, Cunningham wanted to capture that "once-in-a-student's-life time" fun with a movie about the day's coeds and collegians in an authentic setting.
"Spring Break", at the time the film was made, brought students from hundreds of colleges across the country. Each year, an estimated 250,000 students would descend upon the resort region of Fort Lauderdale in Florida, USA, turning it into a collegiate carnival that has become both a tradition and a phenomenon. It is believed to have begun in 1938 as a local swimming meet. Someone had the idea to invite other colleges outside the area. A tradition was born and continued long after the competitive events gave way to the more free-wheeling activities. In the post-World War II euphoria, "Spring Break" grew and grew, receiving another big push in the 1960s with a novel and its movie adaptation, Where the Boys Are (1960). This picture was remade about a year after Spring Break (1983) with its title being "Where the Boys Are (1984) '84". As travel became easier and cheaper, the numbers of youth going to "Spring Break" kept going up. Students kept flying, driving, biking, boating, and thumbing their way to Fort Lauderdale. Then to Daytona and other Florida resorts, to Bermuda, Balboa Island, and Palm Springs, to the Rockies and the Laurentiens for the Snow Belt, anywhere that could give students an uninhibited release from text books and an unequaled opportunity for looking for fun and sex.
The film's title track and theme song "Spring Break" was sung by Cheap Trick but failed to perform on the top-of-the-pops hit charts. It was released as a vinyl single '45 with the B-side being a song track called "Get Ready" which was not part of the movie's soundtrack though.
The logistics of filming and the need for accommodating the cast and crew made it impossible to shoot the movie during the actual Spring Break of 1982 but producer-director Sean S. Cunningham and his production team were able to shoot the film during the summer.
The "Spring Break" phenomenon, while epitomized by Fort Lauderdale in Florida, USA, is actually a national phenomenon, and one that pours millions of dollars into the economy. And it's also why the permanent residents of Fort Lauderdale (who had at around the time the movie was made a population of 140,000) have held out that welcome beach mat to "Spring Break", and this, at the time the film was produced, had been for more than forty years.
Off-the-beach shooting locations featured in the film included the Marlin Beach Hotel, which became the movie's Breeze 'n Seas Motel; The Candy Store and the Button-on-the-Beach - two of the most popular student attractions; the Sheraton Hotel; John U. Lloyd State Park; the lobby of a Holiday Inn; and a 98-foot yacht moored at the marina of the Bahia Mar Hotel.
At the time the movie was made and produced, the Columbia Pictures studio was a subsidiary of the Coca-Cola company. Janet Maslin of 'The New York Times' noted in her review published on 27th March 1983 that "the movie happens to have worked Coke at least momentarily into its plot. There's a moment when one of the boys is brought by a girl to her hotel room, and before there's so much as a clinch the boy announces he's thirsty. A Coke would be nice, says his date. So the boy runs down to a very prominently featured Coke machine and buys about six cans' worth".