A Christmas Story

October 18, 2014
Christmas Story House

The Classic Holiday Movie Takes Cleveland By Storm

Nothing says the holidays like, "Ralphie, you'll shoot your eye out!" Well, at least that's the case here in Cleveland.

You see, scenes from the 1983 movie, based on the story written by author Jean Shepherd, were filmed right here in Cleveland.

The story is centered around Ralphie Parker, a 10-year-old kid growing up in the 1940s, who has his sights set on getting a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas.

And, when producers were seeking filming locations for what was supposed to look like an Indiana steel town in the 40s, they found their answer in a home located in the Cleveland neighborhood of Tremont. (Read more about the fascinating story behind this cult classic's creation and rise to fame here.)

Today, that home where the classic holiday film was shot is now a wildly popular visitor attraction - one that's drawn hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world. Subsequently, the house's enormous popularity has spawned even more A Christmas Story mania throughout the city this holiday season.


A Christmas Story House - The Visitor Experience

Enter the A Christmas Story House and you're suddenly immersed into the real-life home of Ralphie and the Parker family. Each nook and cranny inside the home was completely renovated to look exactly as the home was portrayed in the movie.

But, this isn't a look-but-don't-touch kind of attraction.

Hide under the sink like Randy when he was sure "Daddy's gonna kill Ralphie." Snap a selfie next to the Christmas tree holding a Red Ryder BB Gun wearing Ralphie's bunny pajamas gifted from Aunt Clara. Head upstairs and peer into the bathroom where Ralphie got his mouth washed out with Lifebuoy Soap. And, make your way outside where Ralphie saves his family from Black Bart and the bad guys.

Whether you're a mega fan of the movie or someone who just loves watching the Christmas Day marathon on cable TV, you're in for a memorable experience.

A Christmas Story House Museum

You can't have one of the world's best dedications to a popular holiday flick without having a place to show-off movie props. Directly across the street from the house is the A Christmas Story House Museum, which features original costumes and memorabilia including Randy's snowsuit, the chalkboard from Miss Shields' classroom and the family car.

A Christmas Story House Gift Shop

And, puh-lease, this kind of experience most definitely requires souvenirs. Good thing there's an A Christmas Story House Gift Shop cattycorner from the house. Stop by to purchase your very own Red Ryder BB Gun and Major Award Leg Lamp.

The Backstory Behind the House  

Brian Jones, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, had just discovered that he did not meet the sight requirements necessary to follow his lifelong dream of becoming a naval aviator. And - like anyone whose hopes and dreams are smashed - he was pretty upset.

Seeing him in this depressed state, his parents decided to cheer him up by building him a replica of the Major Award Leg Lamp featured in his favorite holiday movie - A Christmas Story. Little did they know, they were about to spark a great idea.

Brian went on to found his own leg lamp business. Yes, you read that correctly. He ran a hugely successful business selling A Christmas Story movie prop replicas.

A year later, he received news that the Cleveland home where several of the movie's most beloved scenes were filmed, was up for sale on Ebay for only $115,000. So, he did what any self-respecting A Christmas Story enthusiast would do - he bought the house. 

Two years and several thousands of dollars in renovations later, the A Christmas Story House opened to the public. Read more here.


 A Christmas Story Trolley Tours

Now that you know Cleveland's connection to the film, it's time to get exploring. Thanks to Lolly the Trolley, you can take an A Christmas Story Tour of Cleveland that showcases the many locations where portions of the movie were filmed including Tremont, the Higbee Building and Public Square. And, of course, the trolley stops at the A Christmas Story House & Museum for a tour.

A Christmas Story On-Stage Performance

So now that you've watched the movie, explored the house, perused the museum, taken a trolley tour and bought yourself some fuzzy, pink bunny pajamas, it's time to take your A Christmas Story obsession to the next level with a live on-stage performance. The Cleveland Play House brings to life the motion picture during this annual tradition at the Allen Theatre in PlayhouseSquare on Nov. 28 - 30, Dec. 3 - 7, 10 - 14, 17 - 21.

A Christmas Story House 5K/10K Run

On Dec. 6, the A Christmas Story House hosts its second annual 5K/10K run on a course that begins in Public Square in downtown Cleveland and ends at the house location in Tremont. Hundreds of participants - from serious runners to stroller brigades - come out to enjoy this hysterically funny run where folks dress up like the movie's characters (some even run wearing Leg Lamp costumes).

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