Experience Spokane Through Film

If you know Spokane, you'll understand just how perfect our city is as an on-screen location. It's not surprising that many movies have been filmed right here in the Lilac City. In 2018, 17 films had on-set locations in Spokane. In this blog, we'll take a look at eight films that have featured prime landmarks of the city. Use the power of the cinema to visit Spokane during the quarantine. And while you're at it, make a list of the landmarks you see and be sure to find them in the future when you visit Spokane.

#1 Benny and Joon (1993)

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Benny and Joon is arguably the most well-known movie filmed in Spokane, Washington. This 90's rom-com is about how two eccentric individuals, Sam and Joon, find each other and fall in love. Starring Johnny Depp, the movie may be best known for his humorous physical comedy routines and for popularizing the song "I'm Gonna Be (500 miles)" by the Proclaimers. The movie was primarily shot on location here in Spokane.

#2 Tag (2018)

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The most recent movie to have Spokane as its location is Tag. More than that, the story of Tag is based on ten real-life friends from Gonzaga Prep who engage in this never-ending game of tag. Although some of the movie features Spokane, most of the shooting took place in Atlanta, Georgia. Nevertheless, the game of tag continues for these real-life Spokane friends.

#3 At Middleton (2013)

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This romantic comedy tells the story of two divorcees who meet while looking at colleges for their kids. The majority of the film takes place in Spokane, with scenes at Gonzaga University and Washington State University as the respective colleges they're visiting.

#4 The Hit List (2001)

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Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., this film takes place in the Lilac City. The story follows a man who meets a stranger at a bar after a terrible day. He proceeds to tell the stranger about all the people he wishes were dead, and one-by-one, they turn up dead following their conversation. Some scenes were shot at an apartment at 115 S. Adams Street, and more crucial scenes at the Lamp Post Tavern at 408 w. Sprague Avenue.

#5 Home of the Brave (2006)

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The 2006 feature film follows four Army National Guard soldiers during their tour in Iraq and once they return home. Starring Samuel L Jackson, Jessica Biel, Chad Michael Murray, and 50 Cent also play pivotal roles. The director utilized Spokane and Morocco as primary shooting locations.

#6 Mozart and the Whale (2005)

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This romantic comedy stars Josh Hartnett and Radha Mitchell, who begin their love story at a support group for people with autism. Filmed in Spokane, the movie features places like Riverfront Park and Gonzaga University.

#7 Smoke Signals (1998)

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This film may be the first and only to feature a fully indigenous cast and crew. Shot primarily on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation in Idaho, it also has a few scenes filmed in Spokane. The scenes in Spokane feature Riverfront Park and the old Greyhound station on Sprague Avenue.

#8 Vision Quest (1985)

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Vision Quest is a coming of age film based on a novel by Terry Davis. Matthew Modine plays a Spokane wrestler who falls in love with an older woman, an aspiring artist from New Jersey on her way to San Francisco. Madonna also appears in the film playing a singer at a local bar, and it was her first appearance in a major motion picture. The film was shot at Rogers High School, referred to as "Thompson High School" in the movie. Cafeteria scenes were filmed at Ferris High School on the South Hill in Spokane. Some of the locker room scenes used Shadle Park High School boys' locker room. Madonna's scene was at the BigFoot Tavern on North Division Street in Spokane. Other scenes feature the Onion Restaurant downtown, the North Central High School gym and Spokane Falls Community College.

About the Author

Mackenzie De Gon

Mackenzie De Gon

Digital Marketer & SEO Writer

Mackenzie is a local digital marketer based in Spokane, WA. She is always looking for the next outdoor adventure via local hiking trails, camping spots, or ski resorts. Mackenzie and her husband are self-proclaimed donut critics and are on the hunt for the best donut in the region. You can find her working or meeting friends for an amazing cup of coffee at Indaba on Riverside.