New owner of Astoria Goonies house wants to keep it open for movie fans
The 1985 Steven Spielberg cult classic “The Goonies” has fans, superfans, and people like Behman Zakeri, who defy superlatives. Zakeri lives in Kansas, but he’s now the new owner of the home in Astoria where the movie was filmed. Since the movie first made its debut in theaters, the real Astoria house has been a tourist draw for him — and for fans from all over the world. Zakeri has seen the quintessential adventure movie countless times.
“You had the five boys and two girls, the bad guys after them. So I think that sense of adventure and that just chase for a treasure hunt — I think everybody someday wants to find an undiscovered treasure. That’s why everybody, I think, plays Powerball right? Trying to hit it.”
Zakeri lives in the Kansas City area and has no plans to make the Goonies home his primary residence. In fact, his planning for what he will do with it is “fluid.”
“It was bought as an investment, but I didn’t buy it to keep it to myself. I bought it to share it with the world,” he said. “As long as Goonies are respectful.”
By chance, one of his childhood friends — who was with him when he saw the movie for the first time — is buying the house next door. All but a couple of the other neighbors have been very supportive, Zakeri says. He and his wife Liz have been busy in the last couple of weeks, getting furniture in the house and making it welcoming.
“We’re just setting it up. People are still coming by every day. Goonies are coming up the driveway every day and taking their pictures and doing the truffle shuffle.” said Zakeri. “And if I’m outside, you know, I’m, I’m letting them walk up on the porch and stuff like that.”
He says he’s committed to making sure the house is preserved and that other die-hard fans will have access to it. What that will look like, though, is anyone’s guess. Zakeri says he’s not legally allowed to rent the home on a short-term basis, make it into a museum, or put it to other commercial use. Like the heroes of the story, he says he’ll “never say die” and that the adventure will unfold.
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