Archive for November, 2006

HOUSE FROM “A CHRISTMAS STORY” CELEBRATES ITS GRAND OPENING IN CLEVELAND

November 25th, 2006 by Ralphie

CONTACT:

                                                                                                            Emily Vincent

                                                                                                            Landau Public Relations

                                                                                                            216-912-2848

                                                                                                            evincent@landaupr.com

 

 

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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Home for the Holidays “A Christmas Story” House opens its doors in Cleveland.

November 16th, 2006 by Ralphie

by Linda Feagler

Link to Original Article

One of Brian Jones’ most treasured holiday memories is watching “A Christmas Story” with his parents. Never mind that the movie’s Midwest winter setting was miles away from his Hawaiian home. Never mind that his coveted gift was a puppy, rather than the air rifle 9-year-old Ralphie Parker hoped to receive in the film. And never mind that it took place more than 30 years before Jones was born.

“‘A Christmas Story’ is endearing and funny at the same time, which is a hard combination to get,” Jones, 30, explains by phone from his home in San Diego. “Who hasn’t been picked on in the schoolyard and fought back? Who hasn’t gotten in trouble with their parents? It has a very human touch that connects with everybody.”

So last year, when the Cleveland house featured in the 1983 movie came up for sale on eBay, Jones just had to have it. His goal: create a setting that would replicate the Parker family home and build a museum/gift shop that fans of the movie would be sure to love. Bids for the house started at $99,999. Jones sealed the deal by offering $150,000.

On November 25, the house (complete with leg lamp in window) and museum will be introduced to the public as part of a three-day grand-opening celebration featuring autograph and meet-and-greet sessions interspersed with movie marathons. Stars scheduled to attend include Ian Petrella (Randy), Scott Schwartz (Flick), Tedde Moore (Miss Shields), Zack Ward (Scut Farkas), Yano Anaya (Grover Dill), Patty Johnson (head elf) and Drew Hocevar (male elf).

Based on stories written by humorist Jean Shepherd, the film’s release almost two decades ago met with little fanfare except in cities such as Cleveland, where much of it was shot. Prominent locations included Public Square, where the holiday parade was staged, and the downtown branch of the now-defunct Higbee’s department store, where the Parker boys visited Santa.

Although it has justifiably earned a place in the annals of holiday-film history and has long been a favorite of fan

s who have driven by it over the years, the 111-year-old dwelling, located in the city’s Tremont neighborhood, was more on a par with a scene from “The Money Pit” when Jones purchased it.

“The house was empty at the time the movie was made. After filming was over, it went through periods of being run-down-fixed-up, run-down-fixed-up, run-down-fixed-up. It was sad to see,” says museum curator Steve Siedlecki.

Under Siedlecki’s watchful eye, more than $200,000 of restoration work has transpired, including replacing exterior vinyl siding with the spiffy yellow and green paint job fans remember. Since the house was used for exterior shots (interiors were created on a Toronto sound stage), a wooden staircase resembling the one on which Ralphie made his grand entrance in his infamous bunny suit, looking “like a pink nightmare,” has replaced a downstairs bedroom. The back yard, where Black Bart lurked and Ralphie engaged in target practice, is newly landscaped.

“The contractor followed 12 pages of still frames from the movie to make it as realistic as possible,” Siedlecki says, as he examines donations for the house, which range from a half-dozen console radios with lighted dials similar to the one on which the Parker boys tuned in “Little Orphan Annie,” to vintage boxes of Lifebuoy soap.

Across the street, “A Christmas Story” House gift shop will be replete with everything the die-hard fan requires, from DVDs to ornaments to T-shirts and posters and the leg lamps that Jones manufactures. The museum adjoining the shop will spotlight such artifacts as Randy’s snowsuit and zeppelin, and movie reviews written following the film’s premiere.

Last year, more than 1,300 fans from around the country attended a sneak preview of the house, which also served as a fund-raiser. An additional 2,000 have asked to be placed on Jones’ mailing list for updates.

Petrella is one of them.

“I truly believe in this project,” says the 31-year-old actor-turned-puppeteer, who was 8 when he was awarded his part. “It’s an absolutely wonderful idea, and I’m very excited about it.

“We all want to achieve something in life – whether it’s a job, a relationship, an object, a car, good grades… anything. The movie addresses those desires on a level everyone at any age can relate to.”

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‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY! RENOVATION WORK ON

November 15th, 2006 by Ralphie

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        CONTACT:

                                                                                                            Emily Vincent

                                                                                                            Landau Public Relations

                                                                                                            216-912-2848

                                                                                                            evincent@landaupr.com

 

 

‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY! RENOVATION WORK ON

A CHRISTMAS STORY HOUSE IS COMPLETE

 

Grand opening celebration to take place Nov. 25 at 10 a.m.

 

CLEVELAND – Nov. 15, 2006 – Well, no one shot their eye out, and the renovations to the house used in the 1983 film “A Christmas Story” are now complete. With the grand opening taking place Saturday, Nov. 25, at 10 a.m., the $240,000 renovation project came in on time and delivered a result that will take fans back to the adventures of Ralphie, Randy and all of their friends on Cleveland Street (which is actually West 11th Street in Cleveland).

 

While the idea to turn the home into a fun attraction for fans belongs to one man, he wants to be sure to thank all of those who helped to make this dream a reality.

 

“The renovation was a massive project, and the companies that made it happen were simply first-rate,” said Brian Jones, owner of A Christmas Story House. “Foster Contracting transformed the inside and outside of the home to match as close as possible to what you see in the movie. The crew may have watched the movie more times than me to notice all the details and get everything right. The folks at ICI Paints, who donated their paint, worked closely with us to ensure the perfect colors for every room and matched the exterior yellow paint with green trim with pieces of the original siding seen in the movie. And Draco Landscape, who also donated its services, has made the front and back yards look great to showcase the house.”

 

For their part, all of the businesses who worked on the house stressed how much they enjoyed the project.

 

“Obviously, this was a really fun and once-in-a-lifetime project to work on,” said Mike Foster, general contractor and owner of Foster Contracting in Cleveland. “We were thrilled to be a part of it, and we hope that visitors to A Christmas Story House will appreciate all of the hard work and attention to detail that went into restoring the home to what they remember from the film.”

 

Visitors to A Christmas Story House will feel that they have just stepped into the 1940s, taking a nostalgic trip through the Parker home. Though most of the interior shots seen in the movie were done in a studio in Canada, the house has been renovated to look like it did in the movie. The beacon that will draw “A Christmas Story” fans to the house is the infamous leg lamp displayed prominently in the front living room window (after all, it’s a major award of which The Old Man is very proud).

 

In addition to the house, guests can tour the accompanying museum dedicated to the film. It is located directly across the street from A Christmas Story House at 1103 Rowley Ave. and is where tickets to the house can be purchased and where all tours begin. The museum features more than 100 behind-the-scenes photos and items donated by actors from the movie.

 

The museum features items donated by actors in the movie. Ian Petrella, who portrayed younger brother Randy, has provided his “I-can’t-put-my-arms-down” snowsuit, toy zeppelin and rat from Miss Shields’ drawer. The museum also includes a gift shop where items such as leg lamps, T-shirts, painting, pictures, action figures, Ovaltine, Lifebuoy Soap, secret decoder pins and eventually pink bunny suits are available for purchase.

 

Once it opens on Nov. 25, the house’s hours will be Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. After Jan. 16, 2007, the house will be open Thursdays through Sunday. Admission to A Christmas Story House is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Group discounts are available. The price of admission includes a guided tour of the house and yard and admittance into the accompanying museum.

 

For more information on Foster Contracting, please visit the official Web site at www.fostercontracting.homestead.com, or call 216-631-2551.

 

A Christmas Story House is located just five minutes from downtown Cleveland at 3159 W. 11th Street in the Tremont neighborhood. For more information or for directions, visit www.AChristmasStoryHouse.com or call 216-298-4919.

 

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END YOUR TRIP TO A CHRISTMAS STORY HOUSE JUST LIKE THE FILM

November 2nd, 2006 by Ralphie

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   CONTACT:

                                                                                                            Emily Vincent

                                                                                                            Landau Public Relations

                                                                                                            216-912-2848

                                                                                                            evincent@landaupr.com

 

END YOUR TRIP TO A CHRISTMAS STORY HOUSE JUST LIKE THE FILM

 

C&Y Chinese Restaurant partners with A Christmas Story House

for special discount offers and holiday-themed party rentals

 

CLEVELAND – Nov. 2, 2006 – To help celebrate the grand opening of A Christmas Story House, the home used in the 1983 film “A Christmas Story” that has been renovated to its original movie appearance, C&Y Chinese Restaurant has been named the official restaurant of the house. The restaurant offers a special discount as well as a holiday party opportunity for fans of this holiday classic film. Visitors to A Christmas Story House who bring their ticket stub to C&Y Chinese Restaurant will receive 20 percent off their bill, while those who bring their C&Y Chinese Restaurant receipt to A Christmas Story House will receive half off the price of admission to the house and museum.

 

In addition to the discounts, C&Y Chinese Restaurant and A Christmas Story House have partnered with Lolly the Trolley for a special Holiday Party Package for groups of 30 or more. The party package includes transportation via Lolly the Trolley to the house and museum for the tour, and then it’s off to C&Y Chinese Restaurant to enjoy a meal, just like the Parker family following the tragic Bumpus’ hounds incident. For those truly die hard fans, C&Y Chinese Restaurant does offer Roasted Pei King Duck a.k.a. “Chinese Turkey,” the family’s infamous holiday meal from the film’s finale.

 

Trolley Tours is also offering evening tours to A Christmas Story House for groups and individuals without the restaurant stop. For reservations or additional information, contact Lolly the Trolley at info@lollytrolley.com or 216-771-4484 or 800-848-0173.

 

C&Y Chinese Restaurant is located at 2222 St. Clair Ave. Bearing a striking resemblance to the restaurant from the film, the restaurant offers a wide range of Chinese cuisine with a full bar and banquet room. For restaurant reservations, call 216-566-1188.

 

Once it opens on Nov. 25, A Christmas Story House will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. After Jan. 16, 2007, the house will be open Thursdays through Sunday. Admission to A Christmas Story House is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Group discounts are available. The price of admission includes a guided tour of the house and yard and admittance into the accompanying museum.

 

A Christmas Story House is located just five minutes from downtown Cleveland at 3159 W. 11th Street in the Tremont neighborhood. For more information or for directions, visit www.AChristmasStoryHouse.com or call 216-298-4919.

 

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