A brief history

American Graffiti



Basic Instinct

Peggy Sue Got Married

Inventing the Abbotts


Petaluma movie links



Explorers Explorers



In 1985, actors River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke came to Petaluma to film the absurd science fiction movie Explorers. Film Critic Roger Ebert summed it up best, "This movie takes a deep breath and plunges headlong into the unknown, and belly-flops into a universe full of Jell-O. What an anti-climax. It begins with three brainy kids figuring out a way to conquer gravity and fly to the stars, and it ends with a bunch of sideshow aliens who repeat material they've learned by watching television. This is the cinematic equivalent to the chimp that learned to play chess and won a gumball".

The film uses residental locations at 1000 and 990 D Street, as well as an ancient oak tree in the hills above Petaluma past the top of English Street. There is also a runaway Tilt-A-Whirl scene on Martha Street. Photos of these locations will be included in an upcoming edition of this page.

Explorers, which was rated two stars by Ebert, is widely available on videotape and DVD. The film is rated PG and is 109 minutes long. After laboring through this movie, you'll most likely agree it deserved no Academy Awards and was, in fact, nominated for none.

Continue the tour