After being closed to the public in 2015, the iconic Goonies House in Astoria has reopened to visitors, ending a yearslong standoff between movie buffs and the home’s owner.
Shortly after the 30th anniversary of the classic Oregon-shot film from 1985, owner Sandi Preston posted signs forbidding tourists from making the trek up a dirt road to the property, even on foot.
Preston tells WW that fans clamoring to visit the house convinced her to reconsider. “There were so many comments and everything about it,” she says. “The people who come seem to be a lot better than what was here before. We were getting such a large amount of people—like, I don’t know, right around 1,500 a day. It was pretty overwhelming to the neighborhood.”
While visitors are now free to return, there are some restrictions, as WW discovered on a recent visit. A sign asks people to walk up to the house, rather than drive (Astoria has cracked down on illegal parking in the neighborhood). And to encourage people to donate, Preston has posted a QR code that leads to her Venmo account. “Probably about 5% of the people who come donate,” she says. “It’s a very small percentage of people.”
Still, that’s a significant turnaround from seven years ago, when fans went from being allowed into the attic in celebration of the film’s anniversary to being greeted with a sign reading, “NO GOONIES. Not 5 minutes. Not 30 seconds. NOT EVER. THIS MEANS YOU!!”
Even more ominous was a sign that said, “Imagine that you buy a house, fix it up, spend money, time and love. Then the city of Astoria encourages 100,000′s of people to come and stand in front and view it. This driveway (maintained by homeowners) sees 1,000+ people every day. Most are kind, fun and welcome, but many are not.”
Whether Preston had the legal right to close a public street was a matter of some dispute. But her exasperation at the Spielberg acolytes photographing her porch made headlines worldwide. The reopening went without notice, except on crowdsourced travel sites, where people started posting five-star reviews again in July 2021.
Preston now says that the continuing clamor to see the house made famous as Mikey Walsh’s place led her to reconsider.
“It was just something that I felt I needed to do,” she says. “I’ll just leave it at that.”