Welcome Outlanders to a special edition of "Return To Gatlin" 25 Years Later. As this had a bit of info to go with it and was also a location by itself, we decided to give it it's own feature. I'm sure you all know the story. Three years ago, the adult townsfolk of rural Gatlin went out into the cornfield (permanently) while Sarah predicted with her drawings the events that would forever shape the "Nicest Little Town In Nebraska" into "An Adult Nightmare." As the opening credits show a gallery of her work, it finalizes, at least for the moment, on a car parked in front of a motel. The drawing materializes into Present Day to introduce us to our heroes of the story, Burt (Peter Horton) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton). As many of us have done this past summer, Burt and Vicky decided on stopping for the night before heading on their way to a place that was not a scheduled visit on their route.
As with searching any movie filming locations, sometimes finding certain areas can be hit or miss due to the amount of time that has passed. Assuming it was the outside of the former Howard Johnson's in Sioux City, I figured it just didn't exist anymore. I was soon proved wrong and hit the jackpot. Located off Interstate 29 just outside of Sergeant Bluff IA, there you will find the building, now an Econo Lodge, still standing and looking basically the same. It was obvious that the doors were now a different color, but the overall structure was identical to that in the movie.
Getting ready, there was one thing I noticed in the background as I lined up the shot. The original sign had three legs while the new one only had two. Being the purist that I am I was determined to find the proof I was looking for to verify this location's authenticity. After a closer inspection, I had it and the answer was clear. The spot where the third leg used to be, was being used as a planter! I guess it was a creative way to hide the cement foundation where the leg had previously stood.
Here is a closer look of the three-leg foundation. I have found that October is a great time to visit these places because of the Fall colors, cornstalks and pumpkins and the sense that Halloween is just around the corner!
One of the most exciting things visiting where a movie was filmed is to find a shooting location you thought was no longer there and this was no doubt, one outstanding revelation! A very special thank you goes out to Debbie who was able to recognize and direct us to this particular location. Well, like Burt and Vicky, it was time for me to get on the road and continue my COTC site hunting. Just remember when going on your own "Corn-Quest", that this IS a place of business and needs to be treated as such. Next up, we will have the official second part to our "Return To Gatlin" four-part series so until then - Oh, looks like a gas station up ahead. I'd better stop for directions. By the way, don't mind the banging in the trunk. It's just Burt's golf clubs.