The famous line, “Goonies never say die,” may finally meet reality if the new owner of a Victorian-era home in Astoria, Oregon, known as “The Goonies” house, allows fans of the cult, coming-of-age movie inside.
The restored private residence with cinematic significance and views of the Pacific Ocean meeting the Columbia River is for sale.
“We’ve heard from fans and we’re talking to real estate agents and buyers who have been preapproved for a mortgage,” says listing agent Jordan Miller of John L. Scott Real Estate.
Since the adventure comedy’s release in 1985, Goonies groupies have made pilgrimages to Astoria, in the northwest edge of Oregon, and converged at 368 38th St. to get a glimpse of the off-limits old house saved by the film’s unlikely young heroes.
Fictional brothers Brand Walsh (played by Josh Brolin) and Mikey Walsh (Sean Astin) and their misfit friends from the wrong side of the tracks (the “Goon Docks”) fought to keep the brothers’ family house from developers.
The real-life homeowner, Sandi Preston, who bought the property in 2001, at first allowed fans inside before she restored the two-story house.
Most of the visitors were respectful, she said, but sometimes souvenir seekers pulled off pieces of the wallpaper near the bunk beds. She then closed the doors to the house built in 1896 except during Goonies Day tours, organized to celebrate the movie’s anniversary.
Thousands joined the tours, some mimicking the movie, urging friends to not give up, with “It’s our time down here.”
Residents of the hilltop neighborhood who complained about people showing up day and night tried to thwart the throngs of fans of the feel-good movie about friendships.
“There is someone here 24/7,” Preston told The Oregonian/OregonLive in 2013. “At midnight, I can still see flashlights.”
Signs at the end of the driveway to discourage trespassing were ignored and fans fretted when the front of the house, which had water leaks, was obscured by tarps in 2015.
Still, there was nonstop posting of #goonies selfies snapped near Preston’s fenced yard. A couple became engaged on the spot.
What’s the allure? Miller, who knows the movie and Astoria well, says people are nostalgic about their favorite childhood movie in which the underdogs win, “and the friends don’t have to move away.”
His client, however, is ready to downsize.
The 1,935-square-foot house has bay windows, original wood floors, three bedrooms and a finished attic used as a fourth bedroom. New modern conveniences were installed during the renovation.
There is also an unfinished basement where Steven Spielberg, who wrote “The Goonies” story that was made into a screenplay by Chris Columbus, had a desk during filming. He met with director Richard Donner there, says Miller.
Who will buy the property and what will they do with it?
“My client is looking for a buyer who will love the property as much as she has for 21 years,” says Miller. “It’s up to the new owner to make it look like the movie if that’s their joy or keep the upgrades and restoration befitting one of the oldest houses in the first permanent American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.”
Miller also has the listing for the 1885 house at 384 38th Ave. that is for sale by Preston’s daughter.
Astoria, the city that in 2018 wanted to issue $100 fines for illegally parking on 38th Avenue near “The Goonies” house, now embraces its film pedigree.
The old Clatsop County Jail, site of the Fratelli brother breakout in “The Goonies,” is now home to the Oregon Film Museum.
Other films with scenes shot in Astoria are the 1986 comedy “Short Circuit,” 1990 action-comedy “Kindergarten Cop,” 1993 drama “Free Willy,” 1993 superhero film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III” and 2008 drama “Wendy and Lucy.”