In the fall of 1981, a crew of approximately 100 people descended on Hope. The purpose for their six week stay in Hope was to film Rambo's First Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone. Hope was transformed into a Hollywood set by the crew, as they used various locations in and around Hope to film the movie.
The crew constructed the "Sheriff's Office" on the lawn of our District Hall. Architecturally, it was almost a duplicate of the District Hall itself. They also constructed the false front of a service station at the Junction of Highway #1 and Old Hope-Princeton Way and built the gun shop on the street across from the District Hall on the corner of Third Avenue and Commission St.
Beside these bigger sets, the crew also did more detailed work, placing American mailboxes and newspaper dispensers on downtown streets. They also flew American flags from the flagpoles and erected a Tony Lama cowboy boots billboard and a U.S. Army billboard downtown.
When filming was announced, chaos struck Hope. 550 desperate people wanted to be featured in the film as extras, but only 100 were chosen. Competition was fierce, even though no speaking parts were involved. A rumor circulated that no one taller than Stallone was chosen as an extra!
The presence of stars Stallone and Brian Dennehy was felt
by the residents of Hope as they frequented local businesses and restaurants.
Nowadays, visitors come to see the beautiful backdrop of the popular cult
TOUR LOCAL FILMING LOCATIONS!
Because filming of First Blood was primarily in the Hope area, the Hope and District Chamber of Commerce has developed a walking and driving tour of some of the film's key locations.
Most of these sites are in Hope's downtown core and make for a colorful Hollywood experience by foot. The sites that are farther out are easily accessed by car and are perhaps the best part of the Rambo adventure. The map below is divided into letters and numbers. Letters correspond to driving tour sites and numbers correspond to the walking tour ones.
A. New location of the "Gateway to Holidayland" sign. This is where Rambo was greeted by the "Welcome to Hope" archway as he came into town.
B. Location of the gas station which Rambo blew up as a diversion. The station was built specifically to be destroyed.
C. Bridge "to Portland" where the sheriff drops off the drifter.
D. Heading towards the Othello Tunnels, known as Chapman Gorge in the movie. Here the police officer falls out of the helicopter and is killed. Observers can see where Rambo clung for his life as he hung precariously on the rock walls of the gorge, high above the waters of the Coquihalla River. The town's hero, Col. Trautman, also located his base camp here while tracking down the Green Beret specialist.
1. Sheriff Teasle drops Rambo off at Water Avenue, near Gardner Chev-Olds.
2. Trying to escape from police, Rambo, on a stolen motorcycle, flies over the tracks at Third Avenue.
3. With the police in hot pursuit, Rambo drives along Hudson Bay Street, passing Hope's H-tree at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Hudson Bay Street.
4. The Sheriff's office was located in front of the District Hall, at the corner of Wallace St. and Third Avenue. It has since been moved (see 9).
5. The Bank of Montreal was temporarily renamed Mountain State Savings while the crews were filming.
6. A Coke billboard was placed on the roof of Scott's People's Drugs in order to provide a hiding place for the crew's cameras.
7.Rambo rode his stolen motorcycle down the sidewalk in front of Cheyenne's Sports and the Alpenhaus Restaurant, on the north side of Wallace Street.
8. The Outpost gunshop was built in the intersection of Commission Street and Third Avenue and destroyed during filming.
9. The new location of the sheriff's office. It now serves as the Seniors Recreation Centre at 560 Douglas Street.
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