On Location with Ronnie Angel: Astoria Filming Locations
Well folks, you know the old saying: “It’s better late than never.” That definitely applies to this article. I first wrote the “On Location” article on The Goonies way back in September. You can read that one right here for a quick refresher course.
I had planned to do an immediate follow-up on the other Astoria filming locations right afterward. Unfortunately, life catches up with us all sometimes and things get put on hold. I never forgot about the article though! Without further ado, I present to you the follow up to the Astoria edition of my “On Location” series! In this article, we will be looking at the filming locales for several films including Kindergarten Cop, Short Circuit, Free Willy, and The Ring Part 2. Here we go!
Our first location is straight from another one of the most beloved family classics in Kindergarten Cop. It’s amazing how close everything seems to be in Astoria. The location of the elementary school from Kindergarten Cop is literally just blocks away from the famous Goonies house. All you need to do is head back the way you came from the main street and you’re there. It’s very easy to spot and the biggest building in the area, so I don’t think anyone should have a problem finding the place. The building, The John Jacob Astor Elementary School is located at 3550 Franklin Ave. The school and the city itself are named after the founder of the town. The school is where the majority of the film takes place. I was hit with an instant sense of nostalgia when visiting the site, remembering some of my favorite scenes and following in Arnold’s footsteps. It’s one of my favorite filming locations I’ve visited. Keep in mind that it’s still a functional school, so just be mindful of school hours.
From the school, we make our way to our next filming location. This is another one that’s in close proximity. How close? Well, you can walk to it from the school! This is the house that Jesse lived in on the first two Free Willy films. It’s located at 3392 Harrison Street.
For our next stop, we have to get back on the main road and circle back around into the city near downtown. Astoria is interesting in that way, that much of the town is in small sections that don’t directly connect up with other parts of town. Thus, you have to kind of go in a roundabout way to get there. This next location can be reached after the jail and Flavel House from The Goonies. Just follow Duane Ave to 10th and go up the hill. At the corner of Jerome and 10th about half a mile down, you’ll see the next location: the house from The Ring Part 2! On the way here, you’ll pass another location from the movie located at McClure Park. Various other locations from the film abound in town. I’m not really the biggest fan of The Ring Part 2 though, so I didn’t spend too much time on it. Interestingly, Joyce’s house from Kindergarten Cop 2 is right down the street. Sadly, it’s gated off and I couldn’t get a good picture. It’s at 414 Exchange Street.
Our final location is from another veritable ’80s classic that many of us grew up on: Short Circuit! To reach it, just get back on the highway towards the bridge. Turn on Hume St. at the Shell station and go up the hill. It starts to curve around at the top, which is where you’ll find “Effanie’s” house, which was featured in much of the film. It’s at 197 Hume St. It looks a bit different now from the movie, but you can still tell it’s the same place. I got to talk to a woman near there who told me a bit about some of the remodeling that has went on there. This was another interesting location to see and another one of my favorites.
Well, there you have it. Astoria is full of filming locations everywhere you turn. Many of these locales brought back a lot of great memories when I visited them. If you’re a film buff looking for a great vacation, I highly suggest giving this little town a visit. I hope you enjoyed my article. Until next time, take care!