First Twin Peaks Festival commences in North Bend on August 14, 1992.

  • By Antonia Rath
  • Posted 1/27/2016
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 11182

On August 14, 1992, the "First Annual Twin Peaks Fest" begins in North Bend in eastern King County ("Twin Peaks Fans Plan ..."). The three-day festival will culminate with the American premier of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me on August 16 at the North Bend Theatre. Organized by the Snoqualmie Falls Chamber of Commerce to celebrate release of the film by David Lynch (b. 1946) -- a "prequel" to his 1990-1991 Twin Peaks television series -- the festival draws fans from around the world and will serve as inspiration for a fan-driven Twin Peaks Festival that will continue to be held annually in Washington.

Hollywood in North Bend

During the winter of 1989 creators David Lynch and Mark Frost (b. 1953) were eager to begin filming the pilot episode of the Twin Peaks TV series and soon "Hollywood trekked up the coast to woo the spirit of the Northwest" (Olson, 268). Three years later in August 1992, director Lynch and several members of the cast of the spin-off feature film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, including Sheryl Lee (b. 1967), Ray Wise (b. 1947), Catherine Coulson (1943-2015), and Moira Kelly (b. 1968), along with crowds of fans from near and far affectionately referred to as "Peakies" or "Peakers," attended Twin Peaks Fest '92.

New Line Cinema, the distributor of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, sponsored the festival and worked with the Snoqualmie Falls Chamber of Commerce to organize and plan the weekend's events. For the Chamber, in addition to providing a weekend of entertainment for the local community, the festival served as an opportunity to draw national and international focus to the City of Snoqualmie and the Snoqualmie Valley and generate tourism to the area. The festival, which drew thousands of fans to the area that August weekend and inspired future fan-driven festivals, was a boon to the North Bend and Snoqualmie communities.

Leading up to the premier of the film, there were many Twin Peaks-themed events scheduled throughout the area. Twin Peaks Fest attendees could take part in a cherry-pie-eating contest, a hike up Mt. Si (one of the peaks of Twin Peaks), and a Log Lady Relay Race. There were several opportunities to meet cast members, including a sold-out Breakfast with the Stars and Dinner with the Stars at the Salish Lodge. One of the highlights of the weekend was a raffle of the gray sedan driven in the show by Agent Dale Cooper, played by Kyle MacLachlan (b. 1959), a Yakima native and graduate of the University of Washington's Professional Actor Training Program. The Dodge Diplomat, seen driving through the region's dense forest during the pilot episode of the series, was purchased for the festival by Snoqualmie City Councilmember Cathy Runkle at a surplus auction and raffled to generate funds for the city's flood-reduction program.

The weekend culminated with the premier of Lynch's film at the North Bend Theatre, an Art Deco structure built in 1941. At the screening, the director accepted an award presented by festival director Vicki Curnutt. This award, described as a "varnished wooden plaque with a rope hangman's noose attached to it" (Olson, 381), was a welcome sight for Lynch. Earlier that year at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France, Lynch had confronted much ridicule and was even booed for his movie. Considering the overwhelming admiration and positive reception that he received in Washington, he said, after being handed the award, "Things were a little slow at Cannes this year, so this really hits the spot" (Olson, 381).

Soon after Twin Peaks Fest '92 concluded, a few fans began organizing what would become an annual pilgrimage to Washington. The "first fan-organized Twin Peaks Festival took place" the following August at various Western Washington locations, and a Twin Peaks Festival has been held every year since ("History of ...").

Twin Peaks Filming Locations

While much of the first two seasons of the television show was filmed in California, the series pilot episode and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me were filmed primarily in North Bend and Snoqualmie, with prominent filming locations in both communities.

Twede's Cafe, North Bend -- Now part of North Bend's Historic District, Twede's Cafe was constructed in 1941 by Roy Thompson. For the first decade of its existence, it was known as Thompson's Cafe. During the 1950s the business changed hands and names, becoming the Mar-T Cafe. It was this iteration of the structure that served as the setting for Twin Peak's Double R Diner and its "Damn fine cup o' coffee" ("About Twede's"). In 1997, the cafe changed hands once again and was renamed Twede's Cafe.

In 2000 Twede's Cafe was a target of arson and as a result of the damage the structure needed to be rebuilt. This remodeling deviated somewhat from the Twin Peaks design of the Double R Diner. However in 2015, after David Lynch approached the cafe's owner concerning the planned filming of a third season of the television show, Twede's Cafe underwent another remodeling, returning it to its Double R Diner appearance.

Salish Lodge & Spa, Snoqualmie -- The Salish Lodge & Spa was used in the exterior shot of the Great Northern Hotel, the fictional hotel in Twin Peaks. The structure began life in 1916 as an eight-room inn called Snoqualmie Falls Lodge, operating under that name until a remodeling in 1988, when it reopened and was renamed the Salish Lodge & Spa.

Snoqualmie Falls, Snoqualmie -- 268-foot-high Snoqualmie Falls adjacent to the Salish Lodge & Spa is the cascading waterfall shown in the opening credits of Twin Peaks. Snoqualmie Falls was added to the National Register of Historic Places in September 2009 because of its cultural significance for the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe as the birthplace of the Snoqualmie people and "a sacred spot where the mists carry prayers to ancestors" (Cornwell).

When asked how difficult it was to find filming locations in the region, Lynch responded, "Once it became the Northwest we just went up there and did a lot of location scouting and found a lot of great, great places" (Lynch on Lynch, 160). These filming locations represent only a narrow selection of those "great, great places" in Washington.


Sources: Greg Olson, David Lynch: Beautiful Dark (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2008), 268-379; David Lynch and Chris Rodley, Lynch on Lynch (New York: Faber & Faber Inc., 2005), 159-162; "Twin Peaks Fans Plan Snoqualmie Valley Meet," The Seattle Times, June 1, 1992, p. B-3; Louis T. Corsaletti, "Just Now Hitting Its Peak -- Snoqualmie, North Bend Still the Destination of Choice for the Fans of Twin Peaks," Ibid., August 13, 1992, p. F-1; Stephen Clutter, "'Twin Peaks': You Can Go Home Again -- Fans Flock to Town as Movie 'Prequel' Has Debut Where It All Happened," Ibid., August 17, 1992, p. F-1; Sara Jean Green, "Twin Peaks Cafe Badly Damaged in Arson," Ibid., July 3, 2000, p. B-1; Paige Cornwell, "Snoqualmie Tribe Objects," Ibid., August 12, 2015, p. B-6; "The Theatre," North Bend Theatre website accessed December 2, 2015 (http://www.northbendtheatre.com/theatre.html); "About Twede's," Twede's Cafe website accessed November 16, 2015 (http://www.twedescafe.com/about-twedes.html); "The Real Double R Diner," In Twin Peaks website accessed January 3, 2016 (http://www.intwinpeaks.com/2009/03/real-double-r-diner.html); "Tour the Twin Peaks Double R Diner Like You're the First Customer Since Its Complete Restoration," Welcome to Twin Peaks website accessed January 10, 2016 (http://welcometotwinpeaks.com/news/double-r-diner-walkthrough-video/); Andrew Hageman, "Dale Cooper and the Mouth-Feel of Twin Peaks," in Food on Film: Bringing Something New to the Table ed. by Tom Hertweck (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), 145-147; "The Lodge," Salish Lodge & Spa website accessed January 12, 2016 (http://www.salishlodge.com/lodge.php); "History of the Twin Peaks Festival," Twin Peaks Festival website accessed January 26, 2016 (http://www.twinpeaksfest.com/#!festival-history-/lnr79); HistoryLink.org Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, "North Bend -- Thumbnail History" (by Jim Kershner), "Snoqualmie Falls" (by Alan J. Stein), "Arthur Ballard records and translates the Snoqualmie tribe's legend of Moon the Transformer beginning in 1916" (by David Wilma), http://www.historylink.org/ (accessed January 10, 2016); Minutes, Snoqualmie City Council Regular Meeting, June 22, 1992, City of Snoqualmie website accessed January 10, 2016 (http://www.ci.snoqualmie.wa.us/PublicDocumentLibrary.aspx?EntryId=4670&Command=Core_Download&Method=attachment); "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form -- Snoqualmie Falls," National Park Service National Register of Historic Places website accessed January 13, 2016 (http://focus.nps.gov/nrhp/GetAsset?assetID=88f12c2b-db08-4c31-9c59-36acf64e305e).

Related Topics:   Fairs & Festivals | Film | Media

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