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Goonies fans, get ready: Tall ships arrive, The Glam Tram gears up, ’80s nostalgia kicks in

By Heather Douglas

For Coast Weekend

Published on June 1, 2017 12:15AM

Two tall ships — The Lady Washington (foreground) and The Hawaiian Chieftain — will sail into Astoria for Goonies festivities.

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Two tall ships — The Lady Washington (foreground) and The Hawaiian Chieftain — will sail into Astoria for Goonies festivities.

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The Glam Tram is a restored 1963 people mover from the Los Angeles Zoo, originally opened as the Selig Zoo in 1913.

Submitted Photo

The Glam Tram is a restored 1963 people mover from the Los Angeles Zoo, originally opened as the Selig Zoo in 1913.

Visitors stream into the Oregon Film Museum, housed in the old Clatsop County Jail, in 2016.

Photo by Erick Bengel

Visitors stream into the Oregon Film Museum, housed in the old Clatsop County Jail, in 2016.

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The Lady Washington, right foreground, and The Hawaiian Chieftain.

Submitted photo

The Lady Washington, right foreground, and The Hawaiian Chieftain.


It may not be a major anniversary year for “The Goonies,” but the cult film’s 32nd birthday will be observed nonetheless with several days of revelry in Astoria.

Two tall ships from Grays Harbor, Washington, that have appeared in big-budget Hollywood films, will sail into the Columbia River to coincide with the festivities.

And one of them, The Lady Washington, will offer free public walk-on tours from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 7; and 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, June 8, and Friday, June 9. The tours are free but a $5 donation is encouraged.

A replica of an 18th-century vessel, the ship, which has appeared in the “Star Trek” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, will dock at the Columbia River Maritime Museum.

The public can interact with The Lady Washington’s crew members, who will be dressed in period attire and demonstrating what maritime sailors from the 1700s would look like.

The historical reenactment makes the experience more immersive so that visitors “don’t just see a bunch of contemporary people in this historic ship,” Zachary Stocks, program development officer of Gray’s Harbor Historical Seaport, said.

Meanwhile, the companion ship, The Hawaiian Chieftain, will arrive for private events at Tongue Point; the public can see it from the shore.

Though not a Goonies event per se, the floating part-time movie sets have been present for Goonies events before and dovetail with the film’s pirate motif.

“Everyone on our tall ships are real sailors,” Stocks said, adding: “We have fun seeing fans all dressed up in their pirate gear.”


Goonies galore


For the second year in a row, the Oregon Film Museum (714 Exchange St.) will be offering “Shot in Astoria” rides on The Glam Tram, taking film buffs on guided tours of sites throughout Astoria where prominent movies — from “Free Willy” to “Short Circuit” — were filmed.

The tram’s owner, Jeff Daly, will sit behind the wheel, while MacAndrew Burns, executive director the Clatsop County Historical Society, narrates the tour, which takes place Saturday, June 10.

“It’s the best way to get a fun, relaxing, behind-the-scenes tour of Astoria’s film history,” Burns said.

Lower Columbia Bowl’s Cosmic Bowl — held 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10 — will “Go ’80s,” playing only 80s music to evoke the Goonies era.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 7 — “Goonies Day” — Merry Time Bar & Grill (995 Marine Dr.) will host a Goonies trivia game, which cost $2 per participant and allows four people per team. Winners get cash and Goonies-themed prizes.

Historically, the film museum, housed in the old Clatsop County Jail, is a pretty popular draw, not least because the building figures prominently in the film’s opening jailbreak sequence. The building is part of the Clatsop County Historical Society, along with the Heritage Museum, the Captain George Flavel House and the Uppertown Firefighter’s Museum.

“Every year the film museum rivals the Flavel House in popularity,” Burns said. “It may very well surpass it and become our flagship property someday.”

He added: “To me, it’s exciting. It’s a boon to our entire county. The great thing is that Goonies fans want to see Haystack Rock and stay in Cannon Beach; they want to visit Seaside and surrounding areas. It’s not just an Astoria thing; it benefits us all.”


‘Never say die’


Goonies festivities are a joint venture between the film museum and the Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce. Former Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen officially declared June 7 Goonies Day in 2010 during the film’s 25th anniversary.

The uniquely Astoria holiday was originally spearheaded by Regina Willkie, the chamber’s marketing director (who has been dubbed “The Goonies Queen”). “Without Regina, Goonies Day would not exist,” Burns said.

The excitement of Goonies Day is palpable. Sloth, Chunk and the gang are fictional, sure, but, for never-say-die Goonies fans, the joy and nostalgia are very real.

The film museum honors more than 400 movies filmed in Oregon, including such acclaimed flicks as “The Shining,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Stand By Me.” Yet “The Goonies,” which received mixed reviews when it was released, casts a spell that remains unbroken.

Within the film museum is a place where fans can leave messages for the Goonies.

“Originally, we wanted a more high-tech option to allow fans to tell us why they love the movie, but the handwritten messages turned out to be much more powerful,” Burns said.

He gets choked up when he speaks of the personal messages fans have left behind.

“We get thousands of messages, and some stick out,” he said. “There was one that said: ‘my brother’s all time favorite movie … RIP, Samuel.’”

The woman who wrote it had driven from St. Louis, Missouri, to honor her brother.

“We’ve got dozens like that,” he said. “Hundreds of people are celebrating birthdays, being cancer free, anniversaries; a lot of people on a Goonies honeymoon. Another of my favorites: ‘My boyfriend proposed to me in front of the Goonies house — I said yes!’ There are hundreds like that.”





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