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Hollywood Comes to Sonoma County

February 1, 2018 | By Bradley Real Estate

When you think of Northern California and particularly Sonoma County, your thoughts likely go to the wineries and stunning Redwoods. However, not as many people realize that many a Hollywood movie has been filmed in this picturesque landscape.

If you’ve ever taken a tour of a Hollywood soundstage or been to a site where one of your favorite movies was filmed, it triggers a sense of connection and nostalgia that has to be experienced to fully comprehend.  

The next time you are planning a little getaway or have a free weekend to explore, why not investigate the locales of some of the films made in this beautiful area of Northern California? 

Here are just a few of the fun movie sites in and around the Sonoma Valley that you can walk around and enjoy:

Disney’s Pollyanna (1960) was filmed on location at the famous McDonald Mansion (also known as Mableton) in Santa Rosa at 1015 McDonald Avenue.

Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) and The Goonies (1985) were filmed in and around Bodega Bay. The Birds extensively used Saint Teresa of Avila Church at 17242 Bodega Highway as a location.

Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), with Kathleen Turner and Nicolas Cage, was filmed on Washington Street in Downtown Petaluma, while also extensively using Santa Rosa High School as a setting.

American Graffiti (1973), Basic Instinct (1992), and Pleasantville (1998) were filmed throughout Petaluma. American Graffiti used many of the exteriors and streets, while Pleasantville was filmed at the famous LaLa Creamery at 134 Petaluma Boulevard.

The John Travolta film Phenomenon (1994) was filmed on location at Blank Road in Sebastopol.

The horror thriller Scream (1996) was filmed in the scenic Healdsburg Plaza as well as Healdsburg City Hall and the Sonoma Community Center.

The Steve Martin movie Cheaper by the Dozen (2003) was filmed in the Historic Railroad Square in Santa Rosa. 

In the film Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), the speed-testing scenes were filmed at Petaluma Fairgrounds Speedway at 100 Fairgrounds Drive.The wine-themed dramedy  Bottle Shock (2008) was filmed at the Kunde Family Winery at 9825 Sonoma Highway in Kenwood.

And, finally, even though John McClane (Bruce Willis) was supposed to be fighting rogue military operatives at Dulles International Airport, much of the airport footage for Die Hard 2 (1990) was filmed at Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa.

Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep once told an interviewer, “I have a theory that movies operate on the level of dreams, where you dream yourself.” Perhaps that explains the connection so many of us have with film as a medium. Walking around and being in the same location as our favorite movies is a bit like walking through our own dreams. So, the next time, you have a little free time, consider taking a brief tour though the locations of some of these films and enjoy the memories.  

Photo:  The Potter School in Bodega was prominent in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, 'The Birds'

List Sources:  Santa Rosa Press Democrat and Sonoma Magazine

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·         Disney’s Pollyanna (1960) was filmed on location at the famous McDonald Mansion (also known as Mableton) in Santa Rosa at 1015 McDonald Avenue.

·         Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) and The Goonies (1985) were filmed in and around Bodega Bay. The Birds extensively used Saint Teresa of Avila Church at 17242 Bodega Highway as a location.

·         Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), with Kathleen Turner and Nicolas Cage, was filmed on Washington Street in Downtown Petaluma, while also extensively using Santa Rosa High School as a setting.

·         American Graffiti (1973), Basic Instinct (1992), and Pleasantville (1998) were filmed throughout Petaluma. American Graffiti used many of the exteriors and streets, while Pleasantville was filmed at the famous LaLa Creamery at 134 Petaluma Boulevard.

·         The John Travolta film Phenomenon (1994) was filmed on location at Blank Road in Sebastopol.

·         The horror thriller Scream (1996) was filmed in the scenic Healdsburg Plaza as well as Healdsburg City Hall and the Sonoma Community Center.

·         The Steve Martin movie Cheaper by the Dozen (2003) was filmed in the Historic Railroad Square in Santa Rosa.

·         In the film Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), the speed-testing scenes were filmed at Petaluma Fairgrounds Speedway at 100 Fairgrounds Drive.

·         The wine-themed dramedy Bottle Shock (2008) was filmed at the Kunde Family Winery at 9825 Sonoma Highway in Kenwood.

·         And, finally, even though John McClane (Bruce Willis) was supposed to be fighting rogue military operatives at Dulles International Airport, much of the airport footage for Die Hard 2 (1990) was filmed at Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa.