Astoria, Oregon isn’t a hotbed for tourism, a "Destination City" like the locales of Miami, San Francisco, Chicago or New York City. However, thousands of tourists who do flock to the small coast town in the Pacific Northwest tend to seek out locations that were used in Richard Donner’s The Goonies. Except, too many fans have flocked to a specific location recently, and now the law has to get involved.
The Daily Astorian has a report stating that Sandi Preston, the owner of the home that was used for the Walsh family in Donner’s 1985 adventure movie, has said "enough is enough" when it comes to fans wanting to get a photograph while touring the small town. Having dealt with a steady stream of unwanted visitors for far too long, Preston has asked the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce for assistance in keeping folks off of her lawn. They started off by placing a sign on her street that reads, "Access Closed to Goonies House." But that wasn’t enough, so they had to go ahead and cover the front of the house with a blue tarp!
You can see more photos of the home on the Daily Astorian, which also quotes City Councilor Russ Warr on Preston’s struggles over the years as the focal point of the Goonies’ fan passion. Warr says:
Sandi ... has been very, very accommodating. The tourism at the Goonies house has, over the last three or four years, absolutely exploded. ... Most people ... think that it’s an attraction, when it really, in fact, is a private residence."
This isn’t a unique situation. Recently, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan had to appeal to fans of his groundbreaking television show to stop visiting the Albuquerque home that stood in for Walter White’s suburban abode and throwing a pizza on the roof… an homage to an action of the mighty Heisenberg.
What’s really sad about the Goonies story is that Sandi Preston felt like she had to react because of aggressive fans getting belligerent with her while trying to get their photos. She said too many recent fans felt entitled to the experience, and some have even picked fights with her. There was an increased presence of Goonies fans who came through Astoria for the 30th anniversary celebration in Astoria this summer, and that likely increased the lady’s frustration. As she explained on the Facebook page for the Astoria anniversary celebration:
The (caliber) of people/generations is changing, and not for the better. They don’t have a sense of family or community but feel entitled and let no one get in their way. We see it daily with the threats against us; all because we choose to have some privacy. It’s been unrestricted for 14 years and we are worn out."
What a sad outcome, for a movie that celebrates teamwork amongst a band of outcasts. This likely will continue to be a developing situation, but for now, if you haven’t snapped a pic of the Goonies house, you probably aren’t going to get a new one any time soon.