Historic Oregon Film Trail coming to Depoe Bay

A sign about the movie “Free Willy” was placed in Astoria where parts of the film were shot. A similar sign will soon be erected in Depoe Bay with information about the film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” (Courtesy photo)

DEPOE BAY — The Historic Oregon Film Trail is going to install at least one sign in Depoe Bay in spots where popular movies were filmed in the small coastal town. 

Over the years, Depoe Bay became a popular location for film production, much like the scene in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in which Jack Nicholson and other cast members were filmed going out on a fishing expedition for the movie — and that might not be the only one.

“Something coming in the near future is a proposal for a sign for ‘The Burning Plain,’” said Larry Lewis, Depoe Bay city planner. “But this will be the first.”

While there is no set timeline for when the sign for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” will be installed, Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce Director Laura Furguson suggested installing the sign this month. 

“The urgency for this one is we’re trying to connect it with mental health month, which is actually October, and to bring awareness to that,” said Furguson. 

The Historic Oregon Film Trail was created by the organizations Oregon Film and Oregon Made Creative Foundation. It features signs installed at specific spots where films were filmed in Oregon. The custom-made sign to be installed in Depoe Bay, like the other Historic Oregon Film Trail signs, will include a main panel that lists productions filmed at or near that location. A smaller panel on the sign will include a “Did you know?” prompt that provides information about that site.

“When I read the sign on the back of the example you gave us for ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and read about what the scene was about that was filmed here, I think our tourists will love this stuff,” said Debbie Callendar, Depoe Bay city councilor.

While the sign will not go up for possibly a few more weeks, the installation could boost tourism, although the city officials and workers at the Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce don’t know exactly how much of an effect it might have.

“That’s certainly the hope,” said Lewis, when asked if this will attract more visitors to Depoe Bay. 

Two other movies, “Sometimes a Great Notion” and “The Burning Plain,” will also feature prominently in the Historic Oregon Film Trail in Depoe Bay. The location of the “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” sign will be right in the harbor, as Furguson suggested, to the right of the ramp at Dock 2. 

“Part of what we’re concerned about is we want people taking selfies and posting on social media,” said Furguson. “So we want the view to really show Depoe Bay.”

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