My recent pilgrimage to Astoria, Ore., filming location of “The Goonies”
Last week, my boyfriend and I trekked to Astoria, Ore., on a film pilgrimage.
Our destination? The so-called “Goonies House,” a white, two-story Victorian home located at 38th and Duane streets. Our soundtrack? Cyndi Lauper’s boppin’ “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough.”
Damn right. We’re “Goonies” fans.
Unless you spent your childhood chained to the basement (sorry, Sloth), you’ve probably seen “The Goonies,” that classic ’80s flick about a group of misfit kids in search of hidden treasure.
When Mikey (Astin) stumbles upon a treasure map left by notorious pirate One-Eyed Willie, he and his friends set off in search of the pirate’s long-lost fortune. Along the way, they match wits with the sinister Fratelli crime family, explore secret caves, dodge treacherous traps and make a few new friends.
Most of the movie was filmed in and around Astoria, a tiny Oregon port town at the mouth of the Columbia River. Best known for its charming homes and stunning scenery, it’s gone from a commercial hub for fish, lumber and fur trading to a popular tourist attraction.
“Goonies” filming locations, including the Old County Jail and the historic Flavel House, remain the top draws.
When we stopped by the Astoria visitors center, in fact, the extremely friendly staff immediately handed us two maps, a printout about “Goonies” stops and a list of “Movies Made in and Around Astoria.”
They include “The Black Stallion,” “Short Circuit,” “Kindergarten Cop,” both “Free Willy” movies, “Teenage Mutant Turtles III,” “The Ring II” and “Into the Wild.”
Nearby Cannon Beach provided a scenic backdrop for “1941,” “Point Break” and “Twilight,” among others. And you’ve probably seen the massive Astoria-Megler Bridge in a car commercial or two.
Hollywood can hardly be blamed for falling in love with such a lovely town.
Within a few minutes of arriving in Astoria, one of my friends reportedly pledged, “I’m moving here.” She could probably find a decently priced abode, too.
I don’t necessarily need to move to Astoria to appreciate its charms.
For now, I’m content simply to stand in front of the famous Goonies House with my fellow fans, proclaiming myself — for once and all — as a Goonie.
Want to learn more about “The Goonies”?
YouTube.com takes you behind the scenes of the 1985 movie with a wonderful making-of video.
We meet story creator Steve Spielberg, director Richard Donner (“Lethal Weapon”) and a couple cast members.
Perhaps the best insight comes from Donner, who jokes that he contemplates suicide after spending hours upon hours with these crazy kids. “And yet,” he admits, “It’s probably the most gratifying experience because in an odd sort of way a lot of their energy and excitement is rubbing off on me.”
Photos by Chris Daly.
No related posts.