When it comes to “The Goonies,” Astoria and other North Coast destinations woven into the cult classic film play as pivotal a role as the cast and crew, practically assuming their own personality and consequently contributing to the film in a unique way.
“We believe the location is just as much a character in the film as the actors,” said “Super-Fan” Curtis Templeton, the host of Beyond the Backlot whose team selected Astoria as the “no-brainer” option for their pilot episode because of how deeply embedded the film is into the culture and milieu of the area.
During the 34th annual Goonies Day weekend, Friday-Sunday, June 7-9, visiting fans and local enthusiasts have two opportunities to watch the Beyond the Backlot episode that explores the locations, characters and iconic scenes of “The Goonies.”
Beyond the Backlot
The screenings take place at the Columbian Theater at 6 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday, followed by a Q&A with Templeton and crew, as well as a showing of the movie.
Guided by a desire to capture iconic yet living places that remain easily recognizable from the film in which they were used, “there was no question Astoria would be first,” Templeton said. They shot the episode – originally intended to be 30 minutes and made for television – in February 2017. Eventually, they switched courses to instead produce more and shorter content designed for YouTube, but they will be screening the full, extended version during Goonies Day weekend.
The episode includes interviews with locals who were on location during filming of “The Goonies” and director Richard Donner at his studio in Beverly Hills, Calif. In the interview, Donner talks about the history of the film and its quintessential relationship to Astoria.
“Donner wrapped up a huge audience in those kids that gave everyone a chance to go, ‘That’s me,’” Templeton said. “I think it’s one of those films that will be timeless.”
Templeton himself was introduced to the area during a trip with friends in college. When he returned for filming two years ago, little had changed.
“That’s an essential part of our show,” he said. “The places are still the same. When you see it, it kind of takes your breath away because you think, ‘This is exactly how it was in the film.’”
Fandom in Astoria and Cannon Beach
Along with the Beyond the Backlot episode and film screening, locals and guests can participate in a number of other activities and festivities from Astoria to Cannon Beach that encapsulate “Goonies” fandom.
Although the weekend is officially hosted by the Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce and the Oregon Film Museum, “We also encourage other entities to get involved and other businesses to put their spin on it,” Executive Director David Reid said, adding, “It makes for a much more robust weekend.”
Event-goers can go to the Trashy Treasure Hunt at Haystack Rock from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday or partake in the One-Eyed Willy’s ‘Never Say Dive’ Pirate Ship Race on the pond at the Flavel House Grounds at 10 a.m. Saturday. Individuals or groups can participate in the boat race for free and take a chance at winning the $50 prize.
Other activities include a tour of Ecola State Park with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s Patrick Lines at 9 a.m. Sunday. Lines was the Ecola State Park ranger when scenes from the movie were shot there in 1984, and he provided the crew with insight on dealing with coastal weather conditions.
The Cannon Beach Escape Room is also offering a weekend discount for teams of two to 10 to explore its pirate-themed Escape One-Eyed Jack room. Owner Natalie Miller, who described herself and her husband as “huge ‘Goonies’ fans,” said they were “certainly inspired by a one-eyed pirate” when designing the room and determined to have a “Goonies” tie-in.
Although the One-Eyed Jack room was available when the establishment opened in 2007, the Millers periodically change the puzzles to keep the activity fresh for returning clients. Their establishment was involved in Goonies Day weekend for the first time last year and welcomed several enthusiastic “Goonies” fans.
“There’s something really cool about people unifying around something they all love,” Miller said.