Sunday, March 31, 2013

Preston, Idaho: Napoleon Dynamite in real life vs. reel life

After a long overland journey from Southern California, I arrived back here in Pocatello, Idaho a couple of days ago. School starts back up tomorrow, and I am still trying to re-orient myself to the gravitational pull of my "normal" life (i.e. the life that does not involve driving all over the place attending yoga workshops and interviewing celebrity teachers).

But I guess I'll spare you the boring details of this re-orientation. Here's something else that might interest you. On the way back to Pocatello, I took a little detour off the interstate, and stopped briefly in Preston, Idaho. Preston, as some of you may know, is the home of Napoleon Dynamite. I don't know how many of you are fans of the movie, but while in Preston, I went to a few of the places where the movie was shot, and took some pictures. In what follows, I shall set out these pictures I took alongside screenshots from the actual movie. I hope you find them interesting. If this doesn't interest you, and you'll rather read about something more yoga-related, well, then, wait for the next post :-)

But in the meantime, for all of you Napoleon fans out there, here goes. The first thing I saw when I got into Preston was Pop'n Pins Lanes. This is the bowling alley that Kip and Uncle Rico went bowling at in the movie:

Kip in action 
[Image taken from here]
 
Here is the place in "real" life:
 
 
I wanted to go in and take a few pictures, and maybe even play a game or two. Unfortunately, the place only opens in the evenings. Well, maybe next time :-) 
 
Next up is the high school that Napoleon attends in the movie: 
 
Napoleon and Deb on the steps of Preston High
[Image taken from here]

And here are the same steps, sans Napoleon and Deb: 
 

 

You might also remember that thrift store that Napoleon and Pedro went to, the one where Napoleon got his famous suit from: 
 

Napoleon looking sharp in his suit
[Image taken from here]
 
 Napoleon and Pedro hunting for the suit in the thrift store
[Image taken from here]
 
Deseret Industries, the thrift store where the scene was shot

You might also remember Uncle Rico, who is obsessed with going back in time to relive his glory days as a high-school quarterback. As you may recall, a big part of  Rico's discussion of time-travel with Kip happens over a burger:
 
[Image taken from here]
 
Unfortunately, the original burger joint where the discussion took place has since been torn down and replaced with a pizza and pasta place (I wonder why? You would think that there would be a big surge in business after such a big movie was shot there...). But the owners of the new place have nevertheless kindly kept the old sign in place: 
 
 
Well, that was all I managed to capture from scenes in the movie during my brief tour of Preston. There are many other things from the movie that I did not manage to capture here. For instance, I did not see Tina the llama. Nor was I able to locate the martial arts studio where Rex Kwon Do was taught. 
 
"Bow to your Sensei!"  
Kip receiving instruction in Rex Kwon Do from the Rex himself
[Image taken from here]
 
The locals didn't seem too enthusiastic about Napoleon-Dynamite-tourism. When I went into the thrift store and asked to take a few pictures (introducing myself as a fan of the movie), the clerk had this resigned look on her face ("there they go again...", she was probably thinking), but agreed to let me take pictures anyway. This being the case, I thought it would be wise not to overstay my welcome in this little quiet town near the Utah-Idaho border. But seriously, if any of you Napoleon Dynamite fans out there know the exact location of that Rex Kwon Do studio, please let me know. I could use a few RKD classes myself...

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