Gidget Comes to Coronado – A Weekend of Surf, Sun, and Film

The Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) is thrilled to present “Gidget Comes to Coronado,” a special weekend featuring two events with Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman, the iconic surfer girl and real-life inspiration for the Gidget novel, TV shows, and film.

The festivities begin with Gidget’s Beach Bash, an evening on the sand at Hotel Del Coronado beach on Friday, July 12. The event opens at 7 PM and will feature a screening of the 1959 film Gidget.

Arrive Early for Perks!

Be sure to arrive early to enjoy:

  • A sunset cocktail
  • Live music by the Coronado Ukulele Club
  • A raffle drawing
  • A Q&A session with Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman, also known as Gidget

Tickets for the Friday event include a cocktail and a raffle entry. Those who cannot attend can support CIFF by donating online. Every $25.00 donation will receive one raffle entry between May 16 and July 11.


The celebration continues on Saturday, July 13, with a documentary screening of Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story at the Village Theater in Coronado. Filmmaker Brian Gillogly, Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman, and surf legend Jericho Poppler will participate in a post-screening Q&A.

Limited VIP tickets include a copy of the bestselling book Gidget, written by her father Frederick Kohner and inspired by Kathy’s teenage summer in Malibu, along with a book signing.

Film Festival Honors the ‘Real’ Gidget

“Growing up in Southern California, Gidget was a part of our pop culture,” states Merridee Book, CIFF CEO & Artistic Director.

“Hosting the ‘real’ Gidget is such an honor! These events represent a quintessential blend of the California surf culture of the 50s and 60s, breaking the barrier of a male-dominated sport, inspiring a new generation of female surfers, and celebrating an era gone by.”

Coronado Island Film Festival

See you there!

Proceeds from these events and the raffle will benefit the Coronado Island Film Festival, a 501(c)(3) organization. Raffle items include a Surf Bike from Shaka Surf Bikes.

To become a sponsor, please contact Jon Book.

For ticket information, visit their website here and follow them on Facebook, X, and Instagram for updates.

See you there, San Diego!

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