Gillinator Re-Enrolls in Kindergarten!
A Visit to Astoria For Arnold Film Locations!

Reported By: The Gillinator
Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's time to add a new location to our "In Arnold's Shoes" collection of Arnold movie film locations. This was a fun one, in the scenic coastal town of Astoria, Oregon, which is where most of Kindergarten Cop takes place. Sometimes you watch movies set in towns like this and you wonder if they really exist and are as nice looking as the film makes it out to be. Well with Astoria, it really is that nice! It's right at the mouth of the Columbia River and sits on a hillside so there are amazing views from almost anywhere in town. I was vacationing with my aunt, uncle, and cousins who were taking us from Seattle to Seaside, OR, and Astoria just happened to be right on our way, so I had us take a short detour to track down as many K-Cop locations as I could! Here is a Google Map of Astoria with the locations marked:

View Arnold Film Locations in a larger map


Most were not hard to find, Astoria's web site offers a map and audio-tour for tourists. Other films that were shot here include The Goonies, Free Willy, and Short Circuit, but that's not what I'm here for! Armed with my special K-Cop sweater (thanks Randy!) and new Nikon camera, I was ready to step into John Kimble's shoes! I'm a cop, you idiot!

First, here's an aerial view of the town to give you an idea of how picturesque it is and a basic lay of the land. You can just see Mt. St. Helens through the haze.


Very nice. By the way, this is not a stock photo from the web, I actually made this shot while my uncle was flying us in his little plane! You can see the tall bridge on the left that is visible in some shots in the movie. We drove over that bridge and it is long!

Now let's go into town and see some of the secondary locations used. When Detective Kimble and O'hara got to town, they checked into the Bayview Motel. I'll post the movie shots first followed by my pictures.




Amazingly, this place is virtually unchanged and is still in business. I did not have the pleasure of staying there, but it looks nice enough.

Moving on to a place that HAS changed, I found the location of the dockside restaurant where Kimble and Phoebe run into Joyce and Dominic and have dinner together.



It's not much to look at now. There was a restaurant there until a few years ago, but now only crazy Arnold fans like me think it's cool. I also found the approximate spot on the dock where Kimble and Phoebe have their pep-talk about "no fear".




"The kids... they're walking all over me!"

The final minor location was a little trickier to find-- Joyce and Dominic's house. I had the correct street address, but it was on a street that is long and broken into sections, and we couldn't find the right section that contained the house number we were looking for! Finally we found it on a tiny one block portion of the street that dead ends on a hill.



The house looks pretty similar, just painted different now. I peeked around back to see if there was a view of the tower Dominic climbs to put his laser on, but no, it seems that tower was fabricated for the film. Astoria does have a cool column tower as one of its landmarks though.

Come on, you say, get to the school already! Unfortunately, the school burned down and was totally replaced by a mall. Just kidding! The real school is called John Jacob Astor Elementary (they changed the name for the movie to emphasize the town name) and it sits on a hill at the far east end of town, just down the street from the Goonies house.



It being late afternoon on a Friday, school was out so I could freely walk around and take pictures of the outside of it without feeling too much like a weirdo. I found the spot where Arnold comes out to punch the guy who beat his kid:



And the playground in the back where Kimble marches the kids around. 1, 2, 3, 4!




Those colorful murals were created just for the movie and a bunch of local artists and kids pitched in to make them. They still look great!

I hate to be the "pahty poopah" but this Astoria journey is to be continued! But don't worry, there's much more. I learned and saw quite a lot of cool stuff about the filming of Kindergarten Cop. You see, while I was wandering around the school, snapping photos in my sweater, a man walks out of his house across the street and comes towards me, finally asking, "Are you The Gillinator?"

Now take your toy back to the carpet while you wait for Part 2. Take it BACK!

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