In the summer of 1985, 8-year-old Behman Zakeri went to the movies with his family in Kansas, excited “mostly because of the popcorn,” writes the Washington Post’s Kyle Melnick. On the screen was The Goonies, which follows a group of kids as they try to save their homes from foreclosure, leading them to a treasure map that kicks off a zany adventure.
Now, nearly four decades and a $1.65 million purchase later, Zakeri is the new owner of the iconic Astoria, Oregon, house from the film, and he plans to make it a hub for Goonies superfans.
“Somebody that was a true ‘Goonie’ needed to have it to kind of make sure that it didn’t go away,” Zakeri tells the Post. “If the wrong person buys The Goonies house, what if they do what Troy’s father wanted to do in the movie and bulldoze it and turn it into a golf course or something? Too many people’s hearts would break.”
the hoUSE FROM THE GOONIES IS FOR SALE IN ASTORIA, OREGON fOR $1,650,000!! pic.twitter.com/MhOQJ0ZqVF— Zillow Gone Wild (@zillowgonewild) November 18, 2022
Since watching The Goonies in theaters as a kid, Zakeri has seen the film over 100 times, per the Post.
Inspired by the on-screen characters’ fearless commitment to their treasure hunt, Zakeri became an entrepreneur at a young age, earning income by shoveling snow, mowing lawns and working at a grocery store. At 14, he started selling baseball cards at a store, he tells the Post—a nod to protagonist Mikey Walsh discovering a Lou Gehrig baseball card in the movie. As an adult, Zakeri still attributes many of his business endeavors to The Goonies’ influence. He manages a cards company, Collector’s Cache; a jewelry trader, We Buy Gold; and an escape room company, influenced by the Goonies navigating caverns in the movie.
The 46-year-old entrepreneur toured the home back in 2015 for the film’s 30th anniversary. In the attic with then-owner Sandi Preston, he put in his first bid.
“I told Sandi, I was like, ‘I’d like to buy this house someday if you ever sell it,’” Zakeri tells Amanda Arden of KOIN 6 News, Portland’s CBS affiliate. “And she said, ‘You and a million other people.’”
When the Victorian-era house went on the market in November, Zakeri put his money where his mouth was.
Zakeri and his wife, Liz, plan to split their time between their permanent residence in Kansas and the Goonies house. His childhood best friend, Michael Eakin, even bought the home adjacent to the Astoria house.
Plans for renovations are already underway. According to the Oregonian/OregonLive’s Janet Eastman, previous owners had restored the house to its original 1896 style. Zakeri wants to bring it close to its on-screen appearance in 1985.
He intends to paint a red trim on the home’s exterior, recreate the elaborate apparatus that opens the house’s gate in the film—which includes a bowling ball, a balloon, a chicken and a football—and install a zip line, reports the Post. He is also considering building a wax statue of Steven Spielberg, who wrote the story The Goonies is based on.
“There are symbolic pots of gold for anyone willing to do the work,” Zakeri tells the Oregonian/OregonLive. “In the movie, the kids were risking everything to find the treasure to save the Walsh brothers’ house. If you’re willing to put in the time and work hard, there can be rewards.”
Zakeri hopes to make the house a “gathering spot for fans”—who will be encouraged to do the “truffle shuffle” as they enter, per the Post.