The Goonies is arguably a cult classic for children of the ’80s. Its location of Astoria, Oregon became a hotspot for Goonies fans around the house. One place with a plethora of attention was the Goonies house. Following a slew of incidents, its owner closed it up permanently.
Never Say Die
As a fan of The Goonies, Sandi Preston wanted to purchase the recognizable house. “We lived in San Diego when it was filmed and released, but I grew up in Maine and the location reminded me so much of there,” she told The Telegraph. “I moved to Astoria in March of 2001 and then one day while walking, I saw a huge ‘For Sale’ sign attached to the porch.” After some talking, Preston was able to call this property home.
When she bought it, the number of people visiting was surprisingly low. Those few people were able to get a tour of the property from Preston. In 2005, the 20th anniversary saw an unexpected increase in visitors. “It was difficult getting up the drive. People wouldn’t move, got belligerent, and left trash. They would get aggressive and entitled; their mantra is, ‘You shouldn’t have bought it’,” Preston told The Telegraph.
The Truffle Shuffle
In 2015, the 30th anniversary of the film drew 10,000 fans to the city. Preston would have 1,500 fans daily checking out the house. As expected, some of them were disrespectful to her property. Aside from showing up overnight, visitors left trash behind. Some didn’t bother to clean up after their pets. Preston chose to close the house from the public because of their rudeness. “Imagine that you buy a house, fix it up, spend money, time and love. Then the city of Astoria encourages 100,000’s of people to come and stand in front and view it … This driveway (maintained by homeowners) sees 1,000+ people every day. Most are kind, fun and welcome, but many are not,” a sign outside the tarped house read.
As expected, fans of the film were upset with this sudden decision. “Tarped, what a bummer. Should have never purchased this house. I think the city should buy it and make it a museum and use the money for city fixes,” one Yelp review read. If tarping wasn’t enough, Preston also banned people from taking videos or photos of the house. Trespassers would get a visit from the cops.
Hey, You Guys!
In recent years, the city made it harder for folks to loiter near the spot. In 2018, the Astoria City Council issued a $100 fine for motorists illegally parking outside the house. For this year’s anniversary, the city encouraged people to keep their distance. Fans were still angered by Preston’s firm choice and wanted them to turn it into an attraction. On the Goonies Day Facebook page, one woman made a strong connection between the movie and the current situation. “Does anyone else see the irony of some of these comments?” they said on Facebook. “The plot of the movie we love is about saving their neighborhood from corporate greed and keeping it a place for them to live. Yet in real life, some fans of the movie are saying to sell it and make a profit on it so it can be an attraction … which would kill the neighborhood that is the Goondocks.”
For Preston, dealing with some rude people hasn’t overshadowed the importance of the place. “I don’t regret buying the house, mostly because I’ve met so many profoundly kind and loving people over the years. Many are my friends today,” she told The Telegraph. Goonies fans will have to admire the beloved house from afar.
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