According to The Daily Astorian, the house that served as the home of Mike and Bran Walsh in The Goonies is now off-limits to fans making pilgrimage to the Astoria, Oregon locations of the 1985 film.
Homeowner Sandi Preston enjoyed a friendly relationship with fans over the last 14 years, but following the 30th Anniversary celebrations in June, she asked the City of Astoria and the local Chamber of Commerce to limit fan access to the dead end street on which the house resides. “She was overwhelmed and looking for help to try to get some semblance of normal life back,” Regina Willkie, the chamber’s marketing director, told the Daily Astorian. “It’s just a constant stream of people coming at all hours of the day.” Tired of seeing over a thousand fans a day hike up the road to snap photos, Preston placed tarps over the windows to discourage photos.
As fan events increased, the residential street in front of the property could no longer handle the additional traffic, leading initially to a sign asking fans to park down the hill.
Preston also claims the character of the fans has declined in recent times.”They don’t have a sense of family or community but feel entitled and let no one get in their way,” she wrote on the film’s 30th Anniversary Facebook page. “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.”
The Daily Astorian further reports that fans would often walk onto the property, peer into the windows and refuse to leave. Some began to leave trash in their wake.
The phenomenon is not new. The Studio City, CA home filmed as the exterior of The Brady Bunch house became overrun with fans taking photos, leading the homeowners to eventually erect a fence in the hopes of discouraging visits. They also declined to allow the property to be filmed for more recent iterations of the series and the two Brady feature films.
Fan appreciation of more commercial sites, like Twede’s Cafe in North Bend, Washington — site of Twin Peaks‘ Double R Diner — have been boons for local communities equipped to handle the influx of fans. As it happens, I live near several of the South Pasadena locations used as Haddonfield, New Jersey in the original Halloween. The Michael Meyers home, now known as The Century House, is used as office space and faces a commercial street, making photos and fan access much less of a problem.
Back in Astoria, the jailhouse used in the film’s opening was turned into the Oregon Film Museum in the hopes of drawing crowds away from the residential area, but fans are, of course, tenacious and continued to walk to Preston’s home. Unfortunately, the street itself is still open to the public and the city is looking into to option to further reduce access. Sad as it seems, the street featuring a sign that once welcomed Goonies will now have to shun them.
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