Always movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Always filmed?

1989

About Always

Always is a classic tearjerker and the story of the life that one man left behind. This 1989 film is a remake of the 1943 movie, A Guy Named Joe and was directed by Steven Spielberg. The star-studded cast includes Audrey Hepburn, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Richard Dreyfuss. It was produced by Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Kathleen Kennedy.

This movie takes us through the life of a man who recently died, and all the details of that. The main storyline, however, is that the deceased man who is a pilot begins to mentor a newer pilot to whom we are introduced. The main character, Pete, dies in an explosion for one final mission that his best friend Al and his girlfriend begged him not to go on.

After the explosion scene, Pete is told that he died. He is then walked through his life and begins to speak to Al in his everyday life. He begins to act as a mentor to Al, and he sees him through his spirit. This is the idea of something called “Spiritus” and the idea is that just as Pete was given guidance through spirits, he will now provide that to others in his afterlife.

The story goes on as Pete speaks to Al and guides him. He is truly a mentor to him in his work and his life. Things begin to unfold, and you slowly see Al falling in love with Pete’s old girlfriend, Dorinda. Al begins to take on this life, and so many twists and turns are rather difficult for Pete to see from the other side. In the end, Pete releases his heart so that Al can move on with his life and enjoy the love he has built with Dorinda.

City Locations

Ephrata, Grant County, Washington and Libby, Lincoln County, Montana

Location Types

NatureScapes, Airports, Gyms/Sport, Warehouses

Location Styles

Plane/Helicopter Style, Dated/50's-60's-70's Building, Modern Building, Parking Lot, Ranch Style

Always Locations

This American drama/love story was filmed mostly in Montana and Washington. It begins in the Kootenai National Forest in northwestern Montana. About 500 residents were used as extras in the film as firefighters in the forest. Most of the airport production locations were at the airport in Libby, Montana with others filmed at Ephrata Airport in Washington.

At the beginning and end of the movie, you will see Bull Lake in Lincoln County, Montana. Other scenes were shot in Sprague, Washington, which is just south of Spokane. Also, some of the fire scenes were taken from the footage from the 1988 fires in Yellowstone National Park.

Fun fact:

This was Audrey Hepburn’s final film role and she was paid one million dollars for her role.

Pete’s death scene In Always

Libby Airport, 4986 Farm to Market Rd, Libby, MT

This is such a pivotal scene of the movie and takes us into the whole plot of the story. Pete’s death is when the entire story begins, and you start to get a sense of the type of person that he was. Though he had repeatedly been warned not to take chances and to avoid dangerous missions, he moved forward feeling as if he had a duty to be a part of them.

Pete went on this last run, though others including his girlfriend asked him not to. In this scene, he ends up saving the life of his best friend Al. It is a pivotal moment when Al comes over the radio and says that famous quote, “My engine is on fire! Can you believe that? And I was in such a good mood!” Pete hears this and goes into action, as he swoops down and douses the flames, not knowing that this causes his own plane to catch fire.

Pete had no idea at first, but as he went to pull up he was unable to because one of his engines caught fire. Al looks on in shock as Pete’s plane explodes mid-air, and this scene pulls at the heartstrings of everyone. This takes us into the next part of the movie where Pete is dead but still with Al, but nobody can forget the scene where it all changed.

This film shoot location was at the Libby, Montana Airport on Farm to Market Road. It is still open to the public for general aviation of small planes, and you can see the mountains in the background, which were a big part of the filming. Besides driving yourself, you can also get here by taking the Billings or Route 1 bus or the Red Route Amtrak train.

The dress and transformation scene In Always

Ephrata Municipal Airport, 1990 Division Ave E, Ephrata, WA

This is a bit of a criticized scene, but it’s an important one. This speaks to the wonderful loving relationship between Pete and Dorinda at the beginning of the film. This helps to lay the groundwork for the characters and the life that Pete had before he died. This has been viewed as an “outdated” scene with the evolution that the dress presents, but that’s a matter of opinion.

It is Dorinda’s birthday and Pete wants to make it special. As you get to know Dorinda a bit, you see that she’s not a girly girl type. She is in her own category and tends to be a rougher type of girl. He loves her for who she is, but for her birthday he gets her some really girly type of clothes including a dress. She rushes to try it on and gives the famous quote,“It’s not the dress….it’s the way you see me.”

There is a sort of transformation that takes place within Dorinda that is visible. Though she is a rough type of girl, this takes her to a more feminine place. It’s not that Pete wants to change her, but he gives her the dress and clothes as a sign of affection. This just shows their love story and the life of Pete early on so that you can see how things grow and change.

While this was set up as the local bar, it was actually filmed at the Libby Gym on Mineral Avenue in downtown Libby, Montana. You will have to drive to get to the Libby Gym or you can take a taxi or use a rideshare service.

The love scene that should have happened scene In Always

Hangar 1, Ephrata Municipal Airport, 1990 Division Ave E, Ephrata, WA

How many of us will get a chance to look back on our lives? That’s exactly what Pete got when he showed up to Dorinda and Al in the afterlife. He was able to see what he did right and wrong, and he was able to try to make things better for the people he cared about while he was here. This is such a huge message of the movie, to really appreciate the people and things that you have in life. So, this scene is pivotal because he has the chance to look back on things with Dorinda.

In this scene, he looks back and realizes just how much he loved Dorinda. He says a lot, but the most famous quote comes from within a bigger monologue that he has with her. He says, “I know now that the love we hold back is the only pain that follows us here.” He has some regrets about not telling her how he really felt when on Earth. He wishes that he could have shown her that affection when he was with her. Dorinda feels him in this scene and very much takes his presence in.

This touching scene was filmed in a hangar at the Ephrata Municipal Airport on Division Avenue East in Ephrata, Washington. To reach this location, you can take Route 1 or Billings Bus or the Red Route Amtrak train. Or you can drive, take a taxi, or use a rideshare app.

The realization of death scene In Always

Billingsley Ranch LLC, 1841 Palisades Rd, Palisades, WA

This is what the whole story is about—Pete realizing that after the fiery crash he is dead. This is surreal and emotional and raw, and therefore he needs the reminder that yes he has in fact passed to the afterlife. He will soon learn about his mission and what lies ahead for him and his loved ones. It is a very important conversation and scene that takes place between Pete and Hap. The conversation goes like this.

Pete: Hap, I don’t want you to think that I’m doubting your good faith, I just want to get one thing clear, okay?

Hap: Okay.

Pete: Am I dead?

Hap: That’s right.

Pete: I'm dead?

Ted: Right.

It is at this moment that Pete truly realizes what has happened. He should have listened to Al and Dorinda, but he is here now. He needs time to cope with this, but in the meantime, he will find out the crucial role that he will play for them moving forward. It’s a very surreal experience and one that so many people wish they could experience in the afterlife.

To see where this Always filming location takes place, you will have to visit Billingsley Ranch. It is located on Palisades Road in Palisades, Washington. There is no public transportation to get to this ranch in the middle of nowhere. You will need to drive, catch a rideshare car, or take a taxi. It is about 141 miles to the west of Spokane and 190 miles from Seattle.

Reminiscing about Pete scene In Always

Sprague, WA

In this scene, Dorinda and Ted are talking about a funny incident that happened with Pete years before.

Dorinda: ...so he sees this building on fire and then just outside of town is this reservoir, so what he does is...

Ted: He takes a plane, he goes over the reservoir, fills it with water, dumps it, and puts the fire out.

Dorinda: No! He missed. He hit the post office next door. Knocked it on its ass! It took him three tries. The town was awash; the groceries were burned. It was fire, flood and famine. If he could have managed the plague, it would have been the four horsemen of the apocalypse in one PBY. I mean he was unique.

This is one of the best scenes in Always. Where it was filmed was Sprague, which is a small city in Washington with a population of under 500. You can find the city about 36 miles southwest of Spokane. There is no bus or train so you will have to use a rideshare service, call a cab, or drive yourself.

Conclusion

Though this is in fact a remake, it’s a very unique and more modern version. You can see what the afterlife might be like if ever given the chance. You can see people through others’ eyes and really start to appreciate the life that you have. This is a movie with so much in the way of messages, and it simply can’t be watched enough.

You always wonder what it might be like if you could talk to those who have gone before you. This is a really interesting twist on that concept, and it is packed with emotions along the way. The characters portray all of this well, and there is a true love story at the surface here. You will love the way that the story unfolds and how much we learn about the idea of being able to speak to those that you love after you are gone.