By Wesley Hofmann
From January 19-21, I went with my girlfriend to her sister's house in Fortuna. Of course, Ferndale being only a little drive away, we went there on Sunday to see all the sites there were from the movie. We saw where the "Majestic" theater was built, which is now just a parking lot, we saw the space they used for Mabel's Diner, and we say the cemetery. I couldn't tell which part of the cemetery they filmed in the movie though since it was so big. We saw the building that was the "Sheriff's" in the movie, but is in actuality a Bank. We went to Curly's Grill for lunch and inside they have a lot of pictures of cast members with their autographs. Jim's inscribed on his picture, "Curly, thanks for the lovely cuisine, You'll be hearing from my Lawyers." Also, the only "Sand Pirates of the Sahara" poster is in here.
The best part of our trip down Main Street was in one store where the owner (I'm going to keep her anonymous) showed us pictures she had taken from inside her store of Jim, theater, cars, and other things. It was all really amazing. She also told us something I did not know... They did not stay long in Fort Bragg because apparently Jim was being threatened by some lady with a knife. Therefore, Jim had extra bodyguards, and he traveled separately when changing locations for the movie, and he never ate with the rest of the cast. While staying there, Jim rented a hotel room (expensive one at that)... and brought his own furniture with him!!!!
The owner also said what a thrill it was to have "The Majestic" filmed in Ferndale. She said that its usually such a dull place and this brings more excitement and visitors to the place. She mentioned some residents were upset, but didn't understand why. Castle Rock gave her a $250 check and said, "This is for the inconvenience." and she replied "What inconvenience?" She talked about how much of a feel good movie this was (even though she hasn't seen it yet) and she said that, sure other movies have been filmed there (like "Outbreak"), but that with "Outbreak" it was so noisy with helicopters, etc., that every time she hears a helicopter now she gets worried. She also talked about how "The Majestic" has received bad reviews and such... she states that all people like these days are violence and sex in movies, but that this movie was a movie everyone could go see.
If you ever have the chance to go to Ferndale it is definitely worth it.