HOUSE FROM “A CHRISTMAS STORY” CELEBRATES ITS GRAND OPENING IN CLEVELAND
The home featured in 1983 holiday film officially opens its doors to guests
CLEVELAND – Nov. 25, 2006 – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Cleveland as fans from across the country today celebrated the grand opening of A Christmas Story House.
The home used in the 1983 film “A Christmas Story” has been renovated to its original movie appearance and was unveiled by its owner, Brian Jones, along with several actors from the film, including Ian Petrella (Randy), Scott Schwartz (Flick), Tedde Moore (Miss Shields), Zack Ward (Scut Farkus), Yano Anaya (Grover Dill), Patty Johnson (Head Elf) and Drew Hocevar (Male Elf).
The grand opening ceremony culminated with the lighting of the leg lamp. The infamous leg lamp, displayed prominently in the front window, serves as a beacon drawing “A Christmas Story” fans to the house. The new pop culture destination and tourist attraction is expected to receive 3,000 to 4,000 visitors in its opening weekend.
Jones, 30, of San Diego, purchased the home – sight unseen – in an eBay auction without ever having been to Ohio. A former Navy intelligence officer, Jones is a huge fan of “A Christmas Story” and sells leg lamps (just like the one in the movie) for a living through his online site www.RedRiderLegLamps.com.
Jones purchased the 111-year-old house for $150,000 on Feb. 1, 2005, and spent an additional $240,000 for the restoration work that started in January 2006 with most of the money coming from sales of his leg lamp business. He also purchased the house across the street to serve as the museum for $129,000. The museum features original props from the film, including Randy’s “I-can’t-put-my-arms-down” snowsuit.
The 1983 holiday film starred the late Darren McGavin as The Old Man and Peter Billingsley as Ralphie who famously pleaded for a Red Ryder BB gun, although everyone assured him he would only shoot his eye out. The film became a holiday favorite years after its theatrical release and is celebrated annually on cable with a daylong marathon.
A Christmas Story House is located just five minutes from downtown Cleveland at 3159 W. 11th Street in the Tremont neighborhood. It is open year-round. For more information or directions, visit www.AChristmasStoryHouse.com or call 216-298-4919.
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