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This Is Where Kindergarten Cop Was Actually Filmed

Of all the Arnold Schwarzenegger classics that movie fans think of when considering their favorites of all time, the 1990s film "Kindergarten Cop" is likely up there on the list (via Collider). The movie has received relatively poor scores from audiences and critics overall (via Rotten Tomatoes), with some critics noting that it struggled to balance adult themes while trying to appeal to children at the same time. The movie follows Schwarzenegger's John Kimble, a rough and tough Los Angeles police officer who must reluctantly pose as a kindergarten teacher in Astoria, Oregon to get close to the ex-wife of the elusive criminal Crisp (Richard Tyson) — hopefully putting him in prison for good. Of course, adding little children to the mix in the middle of an undercover investigation presents many hilarious problems.

Throughout "Kindergarten Cop," we see John ultimately start to enjoy his position as a teacher, helping struggling kids, including one in particular that was experiencing abuse from his father. By the end of the movie, John has to confront Crisp at the local library as he was released and made his way to Oregon to take his son away. Kimble is able to apprehend and kill Crisp, deciding afterward to retire and continue teaching kindergarten in Oregon, beginning a relationship with fellow teacher Joyce (Penelope Ann Miller).

Although it would seem that the setting for "Kindergarten Cop" is both in Los Angeles and Oregon, it's common knowledge that many films shoot at a different location than what is depicted. So, where was "Kindergarten Cop" actually shot?

Kindergarten Cop was shot on location in California and Oregon

Unlike plenty of other action movies, "Kindergarten Cop" was actually shot in both California and Oregon. In fact, the scenes shot in and around "Astoria Elementary School" were done at the legitimate John Jacob Astor Elementary School on Franklin Avenue in Astoria, Oregon. The opening scene in the mall was actually filmed in Los Angeles as well, specifically at the Main Place Mall in Santa Ana (via Movie-Locations.com). According to IMDb, there were also multiple locations around Oregon used for other scenes, including Ecola State Park, Hamlet Quickstop Gas Station, and Bayview Cottages for the motel used in the movie. In fact, all the locations used for "Kindergarten Cop" were only in Oregon or California.

Having to travel back and forth for shooting seems like it was no issue for Schwarzenegger, as he explained on The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2015 that "Kindergarten Cop" is still his favorite film after all this time. He even hopped on a Zoom call in 2020 with some of the cast for the film's reunion (via Access Hollywood).