Gillinator's Astoria Visit Part 2!
I'm Sent to the Principal's Office!

Reported By: The Gillinator
Sunday, July 26, 2009

When we last left Gillinator in Astoria... a mysterious figure approached him while he was snapping photo after photo of the school from Kindergarten Cop. Who was this man? It was none other than the current principal of the school, Travis Roe!

My first thought was, "Uh-oh. He's going to tell me to stop taking pictures and sneaking around his school." But I forgot, this is Astoria, where everyone is incredibly friendly! But how did he know who I was, you ask? Well, who doesn't know about The Gillinator, I mean, come on! Alright, I had actually e-mailed him a month earlier, telling him when I would be coming and asking if he could let me inside the school if it wasn't too much trouble. Now, I never got a response from him, which is why I was nervous at first, but he couldn't have been happier to help out. He had meant to respond to my e-mail, but forgot and when he looked out his house window and saw me there, he wondered if I was TheArnoldFans guy. He got his keys and proceeded to give me a full tour of the inside of the school!

Principal Roe has only been principal at Astor Elementary for a few years, and is a younger guy, so he was in fact a big fan of Kindergarten Cop, and remembered when he saw it back in 1990, he thought how great it would be to live in Astoria. Now he works at the very school it was shot in, and from his office, he can see the Goonies house! As he showed me around, he told me all the stories he had learned about the filming which took place in the summer of 1989. Let's get to some pictures! First, here's the side of the school where Mr. Roe found me. This area is where Phoebe gets run down by Cullen Crisp's evil mother!


School side

Notice the extra pine tree in the movie shot? Well, that was brought in and stuck in the ground for the movie, because they wanted to block a grocery store that would've shown up in the background. After filming was done, they chopped the tree up into firewood!

The first thing he told me when we went inside the shool was how there really wasn't much shot in the actual school interior-- all the classroom, office, and hallway stuff was filmed on sets in L.A. Here you can compare the movie to me in the real school hallways:

Hallway movie

real hallway

The real school is actually nicer looking with wood floors and just a classic feel to it, but would've been too difficult and disruptive to film in. They did a good job recreating the amazing views of the Columbia River from the classroom windows though. That was done the old-school way by taking photos and blowing them up on giant murals on the set. The one area they did film inside the school was the gymnasium, so that was our next stop!

Gym movie

gym real

What a great place to do squats with Arnold! Just like the murals on the playground, the colorful figures you see on the wall were painted for the movie and have stayed there ever since. Mr. Roe said the original artist comes back to do touch-ups every so often. My picture is looking the opposite direction from the movie's so you can't see the stage that was also used for the Gettysburg Address rehearsals in the movie. Travis took me behind the stage, but it was pretty messy from storing things at the moment.

But there was still more to see inside. I was hoping the school had kept some props from the movie, and sure enough-- inside the library, I saw a bust of Lincoln that was used (though I have not been able to spot it in the movie yet), and the Astoria Elementary sign that covered up the real name of the school above the door.



I also paused to take a quick photo of me with my new principal action hero, Travis Roe!

Principal Roe and Me

Here is me doing what Mr. Roe told me he sees many people do, recreating the scene at the front of the school where John Kimble gets so frustrated after telling the kids to "SHUUUT UUUUUP!" that he runs outside and lets out an Arnold primal scream!

Arnold scream



Notice how there's no huge hedges on the side now? Yeah, those were fake hedges brought in for the movie to cover up the sub-ground floor windows.

That covers about all the pictures I took. But Principal Roe had more goodies to share! I did actually go to the Principal's Office (which has an awesome view) where he revealed a scrapbook that someone put together during the filming! The thing was enormous and was a gold mine of cool pictures, newspaper articles, and even cast and crew call sheets! I did not snap any photos and only had time to briefly glance through it, but here are the highlights I remember:

Pics of Arnold and kids from the real school

Crew decorating the school, kids helping w/ murals

Call sheets, Arnold is at the top, 9am and he drives himself

Kids think Arnold is a jungle gym

Marketing memo for film, said to use success of Total Recall to promote Arnold, but stress that it's a different type of movie

School newsletter telling about the filming in June, any kids who come can be extras-- and saying the studio has said they expect it to be rated PG

Articles about kids at the school not being allowed to see the private screening because it was rated PG-13 (it was a big local controversy at the time!)

Picture of girl with $35 per day check for being an extra

Invitation to cast and crew party hosted by Arnold and Ivan-- hand drawn pictures and writing by kids

Pics a family took who went down to LA and saw the sets

Calendar of shooting schedule

Reviews of movie

Arnold gave a surprise commencement speech at Astoria High School

While I was flipping through it, a female teacher walked by and asked what we were looking at. After showing her, she told me she was an extra in two scenes of the movie: when Phoebe asks for something to eat while walking down the town street with Arnold, and when Arnold runs out to get his ferret.

After seeing so much cool stuff about the filming, I thanked Principal Roe for being so generous in giving me the grand tour and telling the stories. I had to get going since my cousins were anxious to get to the beach, but then Travis said he had one item that he could let me borrow for the weekend if I promised to bring it back when we drive back through on Sunday. Flabbergasted, I said, "Hmm, let me think about it... of course YES!" I wondered what this precious item could be, and that was when he took the librarian's secret vault key and used it to open a box that contained this:

DVD be concluded in Part 3! Wait for the whistle... wait for it! You lack discipline!

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