Author Layla Schlack Illustration Graham Roumieu
It’s a big weekend in this picturesque little coastal town at the mouth of the Columbia River, where a quarter century ago, The Goonies was filmed. To celebrate the silver anniversary of the movie, fans clad in skull-and-crossbones hoodies prowl streets lined with Craftsman houses to see where Chunk did his “truffle shuffle” dance. They pour in and out of the Liberty Theater for a chance to get up close and personal with director Richard Donner, Corey Feldman and other cast members of the cult hit. The movie, about a group of kids looking for treasure to save one kid’s home, came from a story Steven Spielberg thought up, so it’s surprising it wasn’t a huge box office hit. But it’s still beloved among children of the ’80s, who have arrived by the thousands this weekend.
“Corey Feldman is just so nice,” says Angela LaTourette, who drove more than three hours from Woodinville, Washington, for the four-day event, which includes tours of Goonies landmarks, a red-carpet screening of the film and a concert by Feldman’s band, The Truth Movement. LaTourette even has a skeleton strapped to the roof of her car in homage to the film’s motif.
“This is the first time we’ve all been back in Astoria together,” says a very animated Feldman backstage at the Liberty. “I can’t believe how many people actually came to see us. I hope they stick around for the concert.” Regina Willkie, marketing manager for the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce and the event organizer, estimates that nearly 3,000 people showed up. “Even I wasn’t expecting so many,” she says.
Relaxing backstage at the Liberty, Donner, who also directed Lethal Weapon, says, “You know, we drove up and down the entire West Coast looking for the right town to shoot the film. Astoria was the most beautiful. It’s really nice to be back.”