Film Trail Sign Dedication
- Hammond Marina marks the latest sign on the trail -
For film buffs, Oregon is a haven of locations and stories from more than 100 years of filmmaking. Inspired by these nostalgic backdrops, The Historic Oregon Film Trail, launched in Astoria earlier this year was designed to identify iconic set locations around the state. The latest addition to the trail—highlighting the scenic Columbia River views from Free Willy— will be in the neighboring town of Warrenton, Oregon.
Free Willy, which premiered on July 16, 1993, tells the story of a boy who learns that a beloved orca whale is to be killed by its aquarium owners and he risks everything to free the whale. The breakwater at the Hammond Marina—where the eighth Historic Oregon Film Trail sign is to be installed—was used as the backdrop for the iconic escape scene when the boy helps the whale jump to freedom. The City of Warrenton and Marina Staff were eager to accept the sign and see it as a promising effort to help support their goal to welcome a variety of community members and visitors to the marinas.
Film enthusiasts are invited to attend an informal dedication ceremony on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at Noon at the Hammond Marina. Representatives from the Oregon Film Office and local community leaders will be present to talk about the Trail, the current impacts of the film industry in Oregon and status of the Hammond Marina Master Plan.
“Historical markers are typically about famous people and events. Movies filmed here are also an important part of Oregon’s history and culture, so this trail offer a twist on that convention. The new signs will provide interesting insight into this history to passersby while acting as a beacon to visitors seeking out film locations and stories,” said Tim Williams of Oregon Film. “Placed at photo-worthy locations, we hope the signs will encourage fans to learn more and share about our state’s film destinations.”
Oregon Film, in partnership with the OregonMade Creative Foundation, created the Historic Oregon Film Trail featuring signage located at strategic points around the state. Showing Oregon’s unique and varied locations − from the coast to the desert − new markers will be rolled out one location at a time to reinforce the correlation between the film/TV industry, economic development, and tourism. Development of a Digital Trail Experience as well as a Trail Map is in the beginning phase of development.
The Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Oregon Film Office developed the initial concept and identified several regional movie locations in partnership with the Oregon Film Museum. Oregon Coast Visitors Association provided additional funding for the coastal signs. As the Trail expands across the state, signs will be installed in partnership with Cities, Chambers, Destination Marketing Organizations, Travel Oregon, Travel Portland, Oregon State Parks, USFS, among others. To date the Historic Oregon Film Trail signs can be found in; Astoria, Warrenton, Gleneden Beach and Brownsville. Next month there will be two more installed at Ecola State Park, with more coming to Cottage Grove, Ashland, Eastern Oregon and Eugene.