Goonies are coming.
This weekend marks the 34th anniversary of the release of the cult classic, “The Goonies,” and Astoria plans to celebrate.
But while city and tourism leaders are organizing events, they’re also trying to get one message across loud and clear: Don’t visit the house in Uppertown.
At a meeting of downtown merchants on Friday, David Reid, executive director of the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce, had some advice for business owners to give fans searching for the Goonies House.
“The best answer is: There is no Goonies House,” he said.
For Goonies Day events this weekend, hosted by the chamber and the Oregon Film Museum, Reid says visitors should be directed to the museum or chamber offices where they can pick up special pins and get more information about Goonies-related opportunities. Other buildings besides the private residence in Uppertown appeared in the movie — the historic Flavel House Museum and county jail, for example — and are prepared for a crush of visitors, Reid said .
In a Facebook post, the chamber asked visitors to be respectful and not go to the iconic home that appeared in the movie.
“Attendees of the event (and visitors coming any time of the year) are asked to help us solve the overcrowding affecting the residents in this small neighborhood,” the chamber wrote.
The chamber plans to post staff in the neighborhood — not for traffic control — but to direct people to other areas where they can view the house, and back to the Oregon Film Museum and chamber offices.
“Really, it’s just a matter of having a friendly face there and helping people understand why they should start at the film museum and at the chamber,” Reid told The Astorian. “On this particular weekend, because we know there’s going to be a surge, it makes sense to have someone physically there.”
If their presence itself becomes an issue, or they are not seeing much traffic through the neighborhood, chamber staff will leave, Reid said.
The private residence has probably seen more versions of the “Truffle Shuffle” than the movie’s director, Richard Donner, ever witnessed during filming. Traffic problems and conflicts between fans and the neighborhood reached a breaking point in 2015 following the 30-year anniversary.
In the years since, residents have lodged numerous complaints with the Astoria City Council and the Astoria Police Department about fans who park illegally, loiter in the streets and leave trash behind in their efforts to walk up and see the house, located on a dead-end road.
Last year, hoping to curb problem behavior, city councilors enacted a $100 parking fine in the neighborhood. Previous “no stopping” and “no parking” signs had not had much of an effect.
As far as Police Chief Geoff Spalding knows, his officers have not had to issue any hefty tickets.
“There’s a general sense of more compliance,” he said. But, he added, “we’re just getting into Goonies season.”
The city will likely have a better sense of how much the parking fine deters people after this weekend and as summer tourism ramps up.
City Councilor Jessamyn West, who represents the east side neighborhood that includes the Goonies House, reached out to Spalding and the chamber ahead of Goonies Day events, asking about plans to deter visitors from trying to access the house.
“I think the Goonies weekend is great and I encourage Goonies visitors to have a wonderful time,” she said, “but of course my priority is the privacy of the constituents in that neighborhood. Ideally, both can happen.”
In its Facebook post, the chamber directed fans to alternative locations, such as a Historic Oregon Film Trail sign on the Astoria Riverwalk near 35th Street. From that spot, people can look up to the hills and see both Astor Elementary, the school featured in the 1990 film “Kindergarten Cop,” and the Goonies House.
Or, the chamber suggested, people can visit the Oregon Film Museum, Clatsop County’s historic jailhouse that appeared in ”The Goonies.”
But the usual comments — accompanied by grimacing emojis — followed the post.
“If you don’t want movie fans coming to your house, don’t buy a house that was used in a famous movie!!” one woman wrote, echoing a frequent opinion voiced by Goonies fans online.
Others suggested turning the house into a museum or some kind of public space, while still others rejoined that it is a private home and the entire neighborhood, not just the homeowner, suffers from the impact — a form of fan self-policing Reid found encouraging.
“Does anyone else see the irony of some of these comments?” one woman wrote. “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.”
In the movie, which was released on June 7, 1985, a villain Mr. Perkins, “the richest man in Astoria,” plans to buy up the working-class neighborhood and build a golf course.
“If you really believe in saving the Goondocks, that means save the neighborhood, keep it as a place for people to live peacefully,” the woman added. “Don’t be a Mr. Perkins.”