Kindergarten Cop movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Kindergarten Cop filmed?

1990

About Kindergarten Cop

Kindergarten Cop is an action-comedy movie released in 1990 and directed by Ivan Reitman. It was released on December 21st, 1990, and grossed $202 million with a filming budget of $26 million. Kindergarten Cop was distributed by Universal Studios.

It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Detective John Kimble, a tough police officer with a stoic personality, his partner, Phoebe O'Hara, played by Pamela Reed, and his love interest and a fellow teacher, Joyce (Penelope Ann Miller).

The storyline revolves around Det. Kimble following the case of drug kingpin Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson) and his nefarious mother, Eleanor (Carroll Baker). Crisp's wife runs away with their young son and disappears without a trace. However, Kimble comes across a young drug addict who sees Cullen kill her partner just as the partner tells Cullen where he saw the wife and kid. As a result, Kimble arrests Cullen but needs his wife's testimony to put Cullen in jail for good.

Working on a tip from the addict, Detectives Kimble and O'Hara move to Astoria to go undercover at the local kindergarten school where Crisp's child is enrolled. However, the detectives do not have any information on the new identities of Cullen's wife and child. Det. Kimble becomes the new kindergarten teacher while trying to identify who could be the mother and child. During his time as a teacher, Det. Kimble comes across several issues and problems in the school, like child abuse, unruly children, unrest, and more. However, he also finds companionship and love in single mother Joyce and her son, Dominic.

Simultaneously, Cullen Crisp is released from jail since the drug addict witness died of an overdose, and there is no substantial evidence against him. Cullen and his mother, Eleanor, immediately leave for Astoria and try to track down Cullen's wife and child.

What follows is lots of action, romance, and comedy, with Detectives Kimble and O'Hara racing to close the case and keep everyone safe.

City Locations

Astoria, Oregon and Los Angeles, California

Location Types

American, House, Airports, Automotive, Buildings/ Offices, Diners, Hospitals, Motels, Police/ Jails, Restaurant, Retail, Schools, Ship Docks, Warehouses

Location Styles

Americana, Bed & Breakfast, Boat Style, Bungalow, Bus, Modern Car, Cruiser, Motel Style, Office Building Style, Plane, School, Shipping Dock, SUV

Kindergarten Cop Locations

The majority of the Kindergarten Cop film scenes were shot in Astoria in Oregon. Since the kindergarten school is in Astoria (even in the storyline), the producers felt it best to source local filming locations to make the movie authentic. While the film starts in Los Angeles, California, it soon shifts to Astoria. The main filming areas are the school, which is the John Jacob Astor Elementary School in Astoria. Most of the children and some teachers were also used as extras in the film.

In fact, the creative team even let the students' artwork remain on the walls for authenticity during film shooting. The downtown scenes in the film where Detective Kimble and his partner walk quite often are shot at the picturesque Astoria Downtown Historic District, featuring many local stores, restaurants, and shopping areas.

There are several areas of interest in the film, apart from the kindergarten, like the school picnic, which was shot at Ecola State Park within driving distance from Astoria, and Commercial Street, where Cullen Crisp and Eleanor Crisp go shopping. Spoiler alert: get ready for must-see scenes!

Fans of the Kindergarten Cop should stay at Bayview Cottages to have first-hand experiences of living like detectives and discovering things in and around Astoria.

Fun fact:

Director Ivan Reitman is said to have auditioned more than 2000 children for the student roles in the kindergarten school. One of the children to audition was young Elijah Wood, whose audition was unsuccessful.

Detective Kimble is following bad guy through a mall scene in Kindergarten Cop

Westfield MainPlace Mall, 2800 North Main Street, Santa Ana, Los Angeles

Detective John Kimble (portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger) follows the infamous drug kingpin Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson) through a mall while he tries to figure out who Crisp is meeting and for what. While Crisp is meandering through the mall, Det. Kimble is trying to discreetly follow from a distance, but when Cullen Crisp goes down a set of elevators, Kimble loses sight of him. While Kimble tries to catch up, he bumps into a woman on the elevator. While he immediately says, "Excuse me," the lady abuses him calling him, "Sh*thead!"

He eventually catches up to Crisp (passing through a pair of service doors), who is meeting a shady-looking man. This man claims to have information about Crisp's wife and child. Cullen Crisp walks toward the man demanding, "You said you had information about my family."

This filming location of Kindergarten Cop is the Westfield MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana, Los Angeles. The mall is open for all visitors and has some excellent name brands for shoppers. You can also ride the escalators where Det. Kimble was sworn at and click some fantastic selfies. This mall is easily accessible if you catch bus number 53 and get off at Main - Main Place.

Kimble carries his sick partner inside the motel scene in Kindergarten Cop

Bayview Cottages, 783 W Marine Dr, Astoria, Oregon

Detective Kimble and his partner, Detective Phoebe O'Hara (Pamela Reed), finally reach a motel at the side of the highway. O'Hara fell sick while on the aircraft and kept throwing up throughout the journey. Even once they got done with the airport and started driving, Kimble had to keep stopping the car at rest stops and at the side of the road for O'Hara to vomit.

When they finally reach the motel to stop for the night, Kimble is irritated and annoyed. His patience has reached its limits. He halts the car at the motel parking, huffs over to the passenger side, and hauls an unconscious O'Hara into his arms while saying, "Come on. Come on out. This is all I need. An obstacle." He gets so annoyed that he kicks the car door shut, carries her all the way to the room, and dumps her on the bed.

The motel used in the Kindergarten Cop film scene is Bayview Cottages in Astoria. These cottages are pretty popular for tourists and visitors for short-term rentals. Getting here is relatively easy; you must catch bus number 10 from the Astoria Transit Center and get off at the Astoria High School stop. From this stop, just walk for approximately 5 minutes to reach the cottages.

Detective Kimble takes up a teaching post scene in Kindergarten Cop

John Jacob Astor Elementary School, Astoria, Oregon

Detective Kimble is sitting with the headmistress Miss Schlowski (Linda Hunt) of Astoria Elementary School. Their initial conversation was slightly awkward since Miss Schlowski looked at Kimble and said, "We were expecting a Miss O'Hara," Kimble responds, "There's been a change of plans." Miss Schlowski pours a hot drink while saying, "Four weeks into the new semester, my superintendent told me I had to replace Mrs. Hagley, a kindergarten teacher of 25 years' experience, with an undercover police officer, and he wouldn't even tell me why. I don't suppose you would do me the courtesy of filling me in." Kimble only says, "I can't do that."

Schlowski gets annoyed and tells Kimble that she'll be watching him closely and warns him that she will shut the school down if the children get in danger from the police. Det. Kimble looks at her with a straight face and says, "They're not in danger."

For all the kindergarten scenes, the Kindergarten Cop production team chose the setting of the John Jacob Astor Elementary School in Astoria. The classrooms were left as untouched as possible, with the filming done during after-school hours. Hop onto bus number 10 and get off at the Astoria Safeway stop. From here, the walk to the school is approximately 5 minutes.

Kimble and O'Hara walking in the downtown area scene in Kindergarten Cop

Astoria Downtown Historic District, Astoria, Oregon

Kimble is facing concerns with some of the students in the kindergarten school, and he's trying to narrow down who the child of Cullen Crisp is from the possible children in his class. Det. Kimble meets with his partner, Det. O'Hara in the town.

Since O'Hara was severely sick, she visited a local doctor. O'Hara tells Kimble, "The doctor says it's stomach flu. I'm fine. I can eat anything I want. Let's find a restaurant." However, Kimble isn't interested in listening to her and wants to talk shop. He asks her, "Can we talk business for a minute?" Even though O'Hara is distracted, she says, "Yeah, sure." He starts, "There are 14 boys in my classroom. So far, I have three possible suspects, one likely. Here's a picture. You listening? His name is Zach Sullivan. What do you think?" and shows her a picture of the young boy.

Many of the Kindergarten Cop locations are shot on this street at the Astoria Downtown Historic District. Tourists can visit by hopping onto bus number 10 and getting off at the Astoria Transit Center. The district is a 3-minute walk from this bus stop.

Kimble and O'Hara run into one of his students at local restaurant scene in Kindergarten Cop

Astoria Riverwalk Inn, 400 Industry St., Astoria, Oregon

Detectives Kimble and O'Hara finally find a restaurant they like. Kimble is still trying to get O'Hara to admit that the picture he showed her of the boy from the class could be Cullen Crisp's son. As soon as they enter the restaurant, a child runs to Detective Kimble, exclaiming, "Mr. Kimble! Mr. Kimble!" The child Dominic (portrayed by Christian Cousins) turns to his mother and says, "It's him, Mom."

Dominic's mother reaches out her hand with a smile and introduces herself, "Joyce." Kimble says, "Hello Joyce, Dominic has been a great help. He's a good kid." Dominic looks at O'Hara and asks, "Who's that?" O'Hara smiles and says with a European accent, "I am his sister. You have to excuse my brother. He has no manners at all. My name is Ursula. Wonderful to meet you. I'm visiting here from Austria," and vigorously shakes Joyce's hand.

This Kindergarten Cop filming location is the Astoria Riverwalk Inn in Astoria. It is popular, and film fans can enjoy the fabulous hospitality here. The Inn overlooks the Port of Astoria, and you can grab a meal with incredible views. To get here, follow Marine Drive to Basin Street, and continue onto Industry Street.

Kimble has dinner with his kindergarten colleague scene in Kindergarten Cop

414 Exchange Street, Astoria, Oregon

Joyce (Penelope Ann Miller), also a kindergarten school teacher, invites Det. Kimble to her house for dinner. She and her son, Dominic, live in a pretty house in a nice residential area in Astoria. As Kimble enters, he gifts her a bottle of wine and some flowers. He looks around and comments, "Wow. This is quite a place. They must be paying you a lot more than they're paying me." Joyce replies, "Well, I wish it was my house. It belongs to a friend of mine. After the divorce, he said Dominic and I could stay here in exchange for keeping the place up."

Kimble, ever the cop, keeps looking around and remarks, "You must have some nice friends." Joyce smiles at him while saying, "Yes, I do. Dinner won't be ready for a few minutes. Can you start a fire?"

This is one of the best scenes in Kindergarten Cop since viewers glimpse a possible budding relationship between stoic Kimble and the pretty single mom, Joyce. The house this scene is shot at is at 414 Exchange Street, Astoria. However, since it is privately owned, fans cannot enter the home and click pictures.

Conclusion

Kindergarten Cop, for many, was like an emotional rollercoaster. There were many funny scenes in Kindergarten Cop, and audiences laughed and cried with the film. However, it was like sitting in a washing machine for many since the movie highlighted critical topics like kidnapping, child abuse, investigative work, secret romances, and more that most people don't think about.

The filming locations chosen by the production team were fantastic since very few props were used in the movie. The original artwork, school halls, offices, and more were authentic and original. Many parents related to the film since their children went to kindergarten schools that looked similar to the one shown in Kindergarten Cop.

The actors did a terrific job with their characters, and even the children were incredibly talented in all scenes. The movie was made even better with the addition of the pet ferret, who eventually becomes the class mascot.

Overall, Kindergarten Cop is a great watch for the entire family.