Sunday, May 29, 2011

Preston, Idaho: A dynamite town

Tina, you fat lard, come get some DINNER!... Tina, eat. Food. Eat the FOOD!

Do you mind if I use your guys's phone?

Preston High School
Pedro's house

Preston, Idaho is where the movie "Napoleon Dynamite" was shot. It's a great, funny movie that's quirky and derivative of nothing else. It was made on a shoestring budget by some clever people who are from this quiet, nondescript but pleasant part of southeastern Idaho, an hour or two from Salt Lake City. In 2006, I found an Internet site that gave directions to places around town used in the film but they were a little iffy (One street says East 1600 South, another South 1600 East. Huh?). The nice post office lady gives us vague directions to a house that might be Napoleon's but when we get there there's someone inside and we don't want to park and gawk so we move on. Pop'N Pins bowling alley is easy to find but, wait, was that in the movie or not? Finally we make it to a bonafide locale from the movie, Pedro's house. It's small and unassuming, just like in the movie. Then, the mother lode. Preston High School, where so much of the movie takes place, is around the corner. I shoot some exteriors and a teacher going home for the day (it's 4pm) says why don'tcha just go on in... nobody'll mind. Apparently they were used to lots of sightseers stopping by, even though the movie came out two years prior. Once inside I stop at the office to ask if its okay if I look around a little bit. Sure, they say. You want to see the office phone (a key element in the film)? There it is. They tell me Napoleon's locker is just down the hall, go check it out, and I do. Apparently, an uninvited 46-year-old (at the time) man wandering around a high school isn't discouraged in Preston. Gosh!

1 comment:

Bill said...

An uninvited 46-year-old man wandering around a high school isn't discouraged in Preston. In Rhode Island, you would be arrested..... Or, elected to the General Assembly.