Watch these famous movies with scenes filmed in the Portland area

Who’s bringing the popcorn?

A neglected former inn with boarded-up windows is surrounded by grass and trees.

The View Point Inn in Corbett was the location for the first “Twilight” film’s prom scenes.

Photo by @izzylovestotravel

Portland has attracted many filmmakers over the years, from small-budget indie projects to Oscar-nominated blockbusters. Easy access to pristine natural areas, rural farmland, and big-city atmosphere has been a recipe for many Hollywood success stories. And world-class dining when the cameras stop rolling is undoubtedly a cherry on top for hungry film crews.

We rounded up some notable movies filmed in and around the City of Roses to help you plan your next movie night. Or make a day trip itinerary using our map.

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“Kansas City Bomber” (1972)

Billed as a “Portland cult classic” by The Oregonian, this film starring Raquel Welch shined a spotlight on roller derby — and the Rose City. The production house behind the movie picked Portland, citing its “natural beauty,” and was reportedly surprised when hundreds of local residents attended casting calls for small parts. Thousands of Portlanders even stood in as (unpaid) extras, and then-Gov. Tom McCall visited the set. It was shot in North Portland, including in the Kenton neighborhood, Jantzen Beach, and the Multnomah County Exposition Center.

“The Shining” (1980)

Not every visitor to Mount Hood is there for the skiing or hiking opportunities. Fans of Stanley Kubrick’s classic horror film based on Stephen King’s novel are there to see Timberline Lodge — aka the fictional Overlook Hotel. To this day, Room 217 is requested more than any other room at the lodge.

Oaks Amusement Park portland pdx

Oaks Amusement Park on the banks of the Willamette River.

Photo by Margalob

“Free Willy” (1993)

Play the first few chords from Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There” and every ‘90s kid will picture an orca leaping over a jetty to freedom. While most of the film was shot in Astoria, many Portlanders will recognize “Northwest Adventure Park” as Oaks Amusement Park, as well as scenes featuring the Hawthorne and Morrison bridges, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, and the Oregon Convention Center.

“Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey” (1993)

The furry stars of this beloved family classic trekked across much of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, but also made some stops closer to home. The crew filmed a scene at Wahclella Falls, while the Metropolitan Learning Center served as the children’s school. A house in Southeast Portland near Reed College was the fictional family’s home — and the heroes’ long sought-after destination.

“Mr. Holland’s Opus” (1995)

This film stars Richard Dreyfuss in the lead role of a composer who takes a job as a high school teacher to focus on his family while trying to find time to work on his symphony. His 30-year-career unfolds in scenes shot in St. Johns and the Hollywood District, with Grant High School used for interior/exterior shots of the school. Some real life students even made it on screen.

“The Ring” (2002)

The Columbia River Gorge may not seem like the ideal setting for a creepy tale about a videotape that leads to multiple deaths, but it was — for a couple of scenes. Bridal Veil Falls made it into the film, along with Shepperd’s Dell State Natural Area.

A stately red brick college building looks out over a grassy green lawn.

Reed College’s stately exteriors stood in for Atlanta’s Emory University in “Into the Wild.”

“Into the Wild” (2007)

Sean Penn directed this sweeping cinematic take about the real story of Christopher McCandless’ adventures (and tragic ending). The Emory graduation scene was filmed on the Reed College campus in Southeast Portland.

“Twilight” (2008)

The first installment in a series of movies based on Stephenie Meyer’s vampire romance saga definitely didn’t suck at the box office, grossing well over $408 million worldwide. That means scores of people glimpsed the film’s various PNW locations, including The View Point Inn in Corbett and Skylab Architecture’s M1 Residence in Forest Park. The former was where human-with-the-tasty-blood Bella and vamp heartthrob Edward went to prom, while the latter served as the Cullen family’s mysterious home base.

“Extraordinary Measures” (2010)

The Portland metro area put the “extra” in this based-on-a-true-story movie starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. A fan could spend an entire day visiting the numerous film locations, including the Hawthorne Bridge, Fox Tower, Oaks Amusement Park, Laurelhurst Park, Pioneer Courthouse Square, OHSU, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Vancouver City Hall. Oh, and the Stanford Theater on the Nike campus.

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Laura Veirs and José Medeles play at Mississippi Studios, where Reese Witherspoon’s character in “Wild” meets a date.

Photo by Mattsjc

“Wild” (2014)

Portland-based author Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail provided the storyline for this film starring Reese Witherspoon. In the movie, Cheryl meets a date at Mississippi Studios, tells her friend she’s pregnant at Kasbah Moroccan Cafe, rendezvous with a guy at the Driftwood Room, and readies for her adventure at The Courtesy Inn Motel.

“Captain Fantastic” (2016)

Viggo Mortensen plays a father raising his six kids off the grid who is forced to enter society. The family travels across many bridges, including the Interstate Bridge connecting Portland and Vancouver, and the Fremont Bridge (with glimpses of the city skyline in the background).

“Pig” (2021)

Many Portlanders spotted a disheveled Nicolas Cage in the city when he was filming this story about a reclusive truffle hunter and former chef looking for his kidnapped foraging pig. If Rotten Tomatoes’ 97% rating isn’t enough to convince you to watch it, then check it out for the many local set locations: the Broadway Bridge, Saucebox (now closed), River View Cemetery, and NoPoBoys are among them.

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