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Spokane is the second largest city in Washington state and the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest. It is the county seat of Spokane County in the State of Washington, USA. It was originally incorporated as "Spokan Falls" (without an 'e' at the end), drawing on the Native American tribe known as the Spokane, which means "Children of the Sun."
Spokane is 280 miles east of Seattle and 375 miles northeast of Portland. The 2000 U.S. census showed that the city population was 197,400, and the county had a population of 417,939. The most recent state figures, released in April of 2006, show that the city population has since increased to 201,600, while metropolitan estimates show the area has more than half a million people, and may be approaching 600,000.
Spokane hosted the environmentally themed Expo '74, becoming the then-smallest city to ever host a World's Fair. This event transformed Spokane's downtown, removing a century of railroad industry that built the city and reinventing the urban core.
The 1985 movie Vision Quest, starring Matthew Modine, was filmed in Spokane and features many landmarks in town, including The Onion restaurant, the Ridpath Hotel, and Rogers High School. It also features a cameo by an early career Madonna (it was actually Madonna's first movie appearance).
Benny & Joon, starring Johnny Depp, was filmed in Peaceful Valley, near downtown. The scene in the movie with Benny doing the trick with the hat in the cafe was filmed in Ferguson's Diner in the Garland Village.
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