If there was one movie from my childhood that reigned supreme over all others, it was The Goonies. My mom took me to see it at The Alex theater in Glendale on its opening night in 1985. I remember the trailers and the anticipation. My expectations were exceeded. I watch it at least once a year and I own two copies on DVD.. The second copy came way of my husband buying a surprise copy while out shopping on our 2016 Orlando vacation. He saw the DVD on sale at Target and we introduced the kids to my favorite childhood movie, during a much needed "stay inside and enjoy the air-conditioning" afternoon. They became fans.
Although I grew up in Los Angeles and spent many years working at Universal Studios, I never get tired of movie magic. As soon as I learned that we were moving to the PNW, I started planning our day trip to Astoria: home of The Goonies!!!
We set out on the two-hour drive from Portland to Astoria on a cool day last May. Our first stop was lunch at the Elderberry Inn Restaurant.
The Elderberry Inn Restaurant is a greasy spoon with good burgers and great pies. It also has some fun decor on the exterior of the building, which is the real reason we stopped. If you see Bigfoot and an enormous frying pan, you have to stop.
The mighty Columbia River provided amazing views during our drive. We had to pull over to take pictures.
Finally, we reached Astoria and I was super excited. SO EXCITED!!! Look, it's the bowling alley where we first meet Chunk!
Obviously the Walsh house would be the ultimate place to visit. However, after reading up on the filming sites, it seems that the woman who owns the home has gotten fed up with fans stopping by and has taken action to alter the front of the home to make it less appealing. I'm a fan, but I'm also not a jerk. I can respect her right to privacy, so we didn't even attempt to stop by the house.
Instead, we went to the Oregon Film Museum.
Which happens to be inside of the former Clatsop County Jail, which you may recognize from the opening scene of The Goonies, with the Fratelli jail break!
and also used in the film..."O.R.V.- Bullet holes!"
Admission was six dollars for adults and at a leisurely pace, it took us about thirty minutes to enjoy the museum. It's small. A majority of the exhibits involve The Goonies, however there are also nods to other famous movies filmed in Oregon: The Shining, Kindergarten Cop, Short Circuit, Animal House, One Flew Over the Cockoo's Nest, and more... They have movie props and interactive exhibits, where you can film yourself reenacting scenes on a set or in a prop car.
But before we could enjoy the museum, we had to get booked.
Inside the jail cell where Jake faked his suicide, were props from The Goonies: Data's jacket and his little sister's bike that Brand borrows.
The mailbox from the Walsh house, the skeleton key, and Chester Copperpot's wallet were in a glass case. They even had one of the David statues with Mom's favorite piece intact.
We wrote a note for The Goonies and left it on the wall. I wonder if anyone involved with the movie ever actually visits the museum?
Unfortuantely, The Goonies arcade machine was either broken or turned off. I must seek this out and play it!
Hey you guys, I'm Reenacting the Fratelli car chase scene. It was kind of awkward with one person, but I used my drama school training to play all of the parts.
And that was all there was to see. There is a small gift shop, where I bought a magnet and a few stickers.
The Flavel House Museum, located across the street from the Oregon Film Museum, served as the exterior for "The Astoria Historical Museum", where Mr. Walsh was the curator in The Goonies.
On a different trip, we visited Cannon Beach, where the last scene of The Goonies was filmed. More on that in a future trip report.
After sightseeing in Astoria, we drove across the Astoria-Megler Bridge to cross into Washington State.
Just across the state border, we took in a short History lesson, learning about Clark's Dismal Nitch.
The sun was starting to set, so we hit the road for our two-hour journey back home to Portland. Astoria is absolutely worth the visit for fans of The Goonies. It's a quaint, pretty town for those who are not fans of the film. I'd love to go back, perhaps even stay at a bed and breakfast.