Oregon Film Museum

Oregon Film Museum in downtown Astoria.  Housed in the old Clatsop County Jail.  Photo: KGilb.

Oregon Film Museum in downtown Astoria. Housed in the old Clatsop County Jail. Photo: KGilb.

The Fisherman’s Bride was the first feature film made in Oregon. The year was 1908. Since then, nearly 300 movies have been made “on location” throughout the state. Why? Oregon has a wealth of natural and urban settings to accommodate almost any filmmaker, regardless of the project.

Recognize these titles? Paint Your Wagon, Five Easy Pieces, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Animal House, The Shining, Short Circuit, Kindergarten Cop, Maverick, Free Willy, Mr. Holland’s Opus, The Ring, Twilight, and the Road? They were all made, at least partially, in the State of Oregon.

With all this filmmaking going on, it’s surprising to learn that the Oregon Film Museum in Astoria, OR, is a fairly recent addition to the landscape. The OFM held its Grand Opening on June 4, 2010, in order to take advantage of the city’s 25th Anniversary Celebration of The Goonies, a 1985 movie filmed in and around Astoria.

The museum kicked off its first seaon with a special collection of “Goonies” memorabilia. Housed in the old Clatsop County Jail–itself a setting in the movie–The Goonies exhibit has been a big draw. 4400 film fans visited the museum in its first two months, nearly half the attendence goal (10,000) set for the year.

Look for exciting changes in the coming months as exhibits are expanded to include props and memorabilia from many of the 300 movies filmed in Oregon. The museum also plans to include a special interactive exhibit with professional movie cameras and partial sets where visitors can don the role of director and edit their own film clips.

And for those of you who aren’t huge fans of filmmaking? Where else can you wander through a building that was actually a working jail from 1914 to 1976?

The Oregon Film Museum was established by the Clatsop County Historical Society. Open daily from 10am to 5pm, it’s located at 732 Duane Street in downtown Astoria, OR. Admission: $4 for adults, $2 for kids (ages 6-17). Ample parking out front.

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One Response to Oregon Film Museum

  1. Jennifer says:

    I now have another reason to head to the Coast! Thanks for the review.

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