"The Northwest is the Stuff of Movies"
by Patricia Delaney, The Kitsap Sun (Bremerton, Washington),
R & R Section / Northwest Discoveries, 20 March 2005

The Oscars have been presented, the red carpet rolled up until next year, so what now for movie buffs? Check out famous movie and television locations here in the Northwest.

Sometimes, it's just a glimpse of the Space Needle, sometimes it's as much as a complete backdrop on the water, but many Washington and Oregon destinations have been the location "star" for movies and television — probably many more than you realize. One of the most famous movies with a Northwest title is "Sleepless in Seattle." Even though the movie was released in 1993, scenes shot at Alki Beach, Pike Place Market and the houseboat scene on Lake Union are easily identified. Both Argosy Cruises and Discover Houseboating offer tours including sites from the movie.

The 1982 movie, "An Officer and a Gentlemen," with Richard Gere and Debra Winger, had scenes filmed in Port Townsend. "Snow Falling on Cedars," a 1999 production, has identifiable scenes in Port Townsend, Coupeville and Cathlamet. The Elvis classic, "It Happened at the World's Fair," was a 1963 production based on the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle.

Most recently, Seattle was featured in the television series, "Frasier," from 1993-2004. There were many references to Seattle and Washington locations and some exterior shots. Television's, "The Bachelorette," also had Seattle locations near the same houseboats as the "Sleepless in Seattle" boats, the Space Needle, and seaplanes on Lake Union.

Television studios are re-issuing favorite series in boxed DVD sets, one of the latest being, "Northern Exposure." The 1990-95 series was set in the fictitious town of Cicely, Alaska, played by the town and community around Roslyn. On my last trip to the area a few months ago, my dad wanted to see sites from the show and I'm happy to report they still are evident in town. The radio station and office of Dr. Joel Fleischmann still are noted on storefront windows and the town's entrance is anchored by the Brick Tavern. My son was a big fan of the 1990-91 television show, "Twin Peaks," which used exteriors of Snoqualmie Falls and Salish Lodge as setting for the series.

The Web site www.washington.pacificnorthwestmovies.com has many photos and location details for movies and television sorted by movie title or region, such as Washington, Oregon, Idaho and other states or regions. Among Portland's big scenes are the 2000 film, "Pay It Forward," and "Batman Forever," in 1995. "Animal House," had location work at the University of Oregon in Eugene, and the city of Cottage Grove (1978). The movie version of "Maverick," (1994) had some scenes filmed near the Cascade Locks.

Some of the movies listed also have photos to help you spot the locales. From this Web site, let's guess what part of Washington was used to film the following movies:

"Hunt for Red October": 1990, (answer: Keyport, Port Angeles).

"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom": 1984, (answer: Grand Coulee.)

"Die Hard 2: Die Harder": 1990 (answer: Moses Lake).

"Always": 1989 (answer: Ephrata)

"Hand That Rocks the Cradle": 1992 (answer: Issaquah, Tacoma).

Everyone has their favorite TV show or movie with local ties. These destinations make a great place to take out-of-town visitors or perhaps your kids who now old enough to enjoy your favorite movie with you. It might also be fun to rent one of these movies again, and then try to identify locations. Don't forget to take photos of your group, "On Location," in the Northwest.

©2005 The Kitsap Sun


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