This Oregon Town is One of Hollywood’s Favorite Filming Locations
Most people enjoy watching movies, it's literally a billion-dollar industry. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I am going to admit just how much I enjoy movies. I see multiple movies in the theater each year, and not just the superhero flicks. I have a healthy collection of movies on Blu-Ray and DVD (over 500) and in my opinion, the special features of a movie can be equally as good as the film itself. I like movies of all types and enjoy bonding with my family and friends over a good film.
My family comes from the Oregon coast. When my ancestors immigrated from Norway, some settled in North Dakota but most settled in coastal Oregon. My mother was born in Lincoln City and her mother was born in Astoria.
Astoria is a beautiful place to visit and it's my dream to live there one day. If you thought the housing prices were insane here, it's even worse down there. Aside from the rich family history that I have in Astoria, one of the reasons I love it so much is its place in Hollywood history.
Astoria, Oregon has been a filming location for several movies.
Save for perhaps Seattle, Astoria may be the most prolific filming location in all of the Pacific Northwest. It could be a popular setting simply for the fact that it is unmistakably the Pacific Northwest without being Seattle.
What movies were filmed in Astoria, Oregon?
Let's get the obvious one out of the way. The Goonies is famously set in Astoria, and the film was primarily shot there. People yearning to visit the "Goonies House" will have to get used to disappointment, as the current owners, to put it lightly, have no desire to give tours. In fact, I wouldn't even drive by the house.
Was Kindergarten Cop really filmed in Astoria?
Yes! Kindergarten Cop was set in and primarily filmed in Astoria. The elementary school that Arnold Schwarzenegger's character teaches at is real! My grandmother went to school there. John Jacob Astor Elementary served as the exterior shot set for "Astoria Elementary School." The interior shots were filmed on a set at Universal Studios. The school was built in 1925 and like the city of Astoria, was named after John Jacob Astor. His great-grandson, John IV, famously died aboard the Titanic.
Where was Free Willy filmed?
Free Willy has several shots of iconic landmarks in Astoria, such as Jesse riding his bike across the Astoria-Megler Bridge or the climactic "jump scene" at Hammond Marina, just minutes away. Keiko (Willy) lived for a while in nearby Newport at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. I remember my mom taking me to Newport to visit him and I remember when he died in the wild in 2003 at the age of 27.
What other movies were filmed in Astoria?
You'd be surprised at how many movies had scenes shot in Astoria. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, The Ring, The Black Stallion, Green Room, Into the Wild are just a few of the films that used Astoria as a shooting location for various scenes. For a full list of movies shot in Astoria, I'd recommend paying a visit to the Oregon Film Museum.