ASTORIA, Ore. — If you ever get an invitation to visit the Astoria, Oregon home made famous by the 1985 movie "The Goonies," don't expect the new owner to just let you in.
Behman Zakeri has big plans.
"I want to build the front contraption that was in the movie," he told us via Zoom. "You know when Mouth made Chunk do the truffle shuffle to get through the front gate. I feel like that's the biggest part of the house and you just can't let people in unless they stand on the tree stump and do the truffle shuffle.
"The only challenging thing is how do we get a live chicken to drop the egg every single time?"
Zakeri is a Kansas City entrepreneur who owns a business that sells collectible trading cards. He also has a Bury The Hatchet franchise, plays in poker tournaments, and is a huge Kansas City Chiefs fan.
It's rare to see Zakeri without a Chiefs sweatshirt on, but for our interview, he was wearing his white "Goonies" t-shirt (he has more than one).
"This moment is completely surreal," he told us. "It was a childhood dream. From the time I saw the 'Goonies' when I was eight years old, I've dreamed of someday owning the 'Goonies' house and finding One-Eyed Willy's treasure so this is unbelievable. It really is."
Zakeri, who bought the house for $1.65 million, said he sees himself as a caretaker of the property.
"The reason I'm buying it is for the community," Zakeri said. "Somebody's got to be the caretaker, somebody's got to preserve the landmark. Somebody has to keep it original and not get demoed."
He said he and wife Liz only plan to live in Astoria part-time.
The house, which is in a residential neighborhood in the coastal Oregon city of Astoria, has attracted fans of the movie for years. Its new owner hopes to keep it accessible for tourists who want to pay a visit.
"Goonies are welcome," Zakeri said.
He said he has no problem with fans taking selfies at the property — he was once one himself — and only asked that they be respectful of the surrounding neighborhood.
Popularity among tourists was at times a sticky subject for the home's previous owner. After the 30th anniversary of the film brought as many as 1,500 visitors a day to the house, the owner temporarily covered the house in tarps and posted “no trespassing” signs prohibiting tourists from walking up to the property. She later reopened the home to the public. The city of Astoria also imposed strict fines for parking in "no parking" areas in the neighborhood because of the amount of tourist traffic.
"We're going to set up some really nice cameras and watch the house remotely," Zakeri said. "We want to make sure everything is fine but when you're not living at a house like that full-time it's more of a vacation when you go visit your home."
It will be especially fun because Zakeri's next door neighbor is an old friend.
Zakeri first saw "The Goonies" in the summer of 1985 with his best friend Michael. They've both done well for themselves so when the "Goonies" house went on the market they made a pact.
"I said I'll buy the 'Goonies' house if you buy the house next door and so literally we're going be neighbors again after 30-some years," Zakeri said. "How is this possible? It's like we live happily ever after."
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