Archive for November, 2008

Our Trip to A Christmas Story House October 2008

November 13th, 2008 by Ralphie

Watching “A Christmas Story” has been a tradition in our family for years.  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without watching this movie at least 50 times during the holiday season.  We started the tradition of watching it with our children when they were very young.  My son could actually point things out in the house that he remembered from the movie and he is only 3 1/2 years old.  My daughter is only 1 1/2 but is on her way to being a true fan of the movie as well.  My son taught her how to say “Fragile”.

The funniest thing is the picture of our family next to the leg lamp in the crate.  Brandon, my son, remembered how Ralphie touched it in the movie and on his own did the same thing in the picture.  Again, he is only 3 1/2!  Funny!
 
Attached are some pictures of our visit to this wonderful house.
 
Thank you.
 
Heather Merlino Erie PA
A Christmas Story House Fans
A Christmas Story House Fans

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Ed and Family at A Christmas Story House

November 10th, 2008 by Ralphie

Here is a picture of me and my kids in front of the Christmas Story house taken in November 2007. 

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Ralphie’s pals coming to Cleveland

November 9th, 2008 by Ralphie

Link to Original Article

Can “A Christmas Story” really be 25 years old?

photo

Scott Schwartz (Flick) gets stuck to a flagpole; Peter Billingsley (Ralphie) looks on.

The iconic 1983 holiday film about Ralphie Parker and his dream of getting a Red Ryder BB gun from Santa is marking a big anniversary this month.

At the “A Christmas Story” House & Museum in Cleveland, a celebration Nov. 28-29 will feature a reunion of the cast, including Scott Schwartz, who played Flick, the kid who got his tongue stuck to the flagpole, and Ian Petrella, who played Ralphie’s little brother Randy.

“People don’t realize the movie is 25 years old,” says Steve Siedlecki, executive director of the museum. “It’s only been popular for 10 years or so, when they started showing it on television.”

35,000 fans

Even if you can’t make the party Nov. 28, you can visit the house anytime. (Cleveland is just a three-hour drive from Detroit.)

The plain, clapboard two-story home was used for all the exterior shots in the movie. Now, it’s a lovingly restored museum containing “A Christmas Story” props, costumes, memorabilia and photos.

Purchased in 2004 by “A Christmas Story” fan Brian Jones, the house has been restored to the yellow-with-green-trim color it had in the film. Jones opened it as a museum in November 2006.

The gift shop across the street sells everything from leg lamps to decoder pins to talking Ralphie dolls.

About 35,000 people visit per year, Siedlecki says.

Marathon movie

“A Christmas Story” premiered on Thanksgiving 1983. It starred Peter Billingsley as Ralphie Parker, the boy whose greatest Christmas wish was a Red Ryder BB Gun. His dad was played by the late Darren McGavin. Cleveland was chosen for part of the filming, director Bob Clark said, because it most resembled 1940s Indiana.

Like Trekkies, the most avid fans of “A Christmas Story” have a nickname, too — Ralphies. That could include many Americans: when TNT runs its “A Christmas Story” marathon each year, an estimated 40 million people tune in at least once.

The museum and house are at 3159 W. Eleventh Street in Cleveland. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and noon -5 p.m. Sundays. From Nov. 26-Dec. 31, the house also is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays for the holiday crowds.

Admission is $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $5.50 for children ages 7-12 and free for younger children.

For the celebration Nov. 28-29, a $40 “Ralphie Pass” can get you into most events, “but if you just want to meet and greet the actors, that’s $10,” Siedlecki says.

For more, see www.achristmasstoryhouse.com or call 216-298-4919.

And be sure to drink your Ovaltine.

Contact ELLEN CREAGER at 313-222-6498 or ecreager@freepress.com.

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November 2008 Newsletter

November 6th, 2008 by Ralphie

 

A Christmas Story Gift Shop Opens in Canada
A Christmas Story House Canada The Canadian branch of A Christmas Story House Gift Shop is now open. We have expanded operations into Canada and opened an online branch of our gift shop based in Oakville, Ontario. The Web site for the Canadian branch is www.AChristmasStoryHouse.ca.

The movie was filmed in three locations – Toronto and St. Catharines, Ontario, and Cleveland, Ohio – so it’s only fitting that we be able to serve the customers in the communities that made film possible. We are happy to finally be able to meet the demand for leg lamps north of the border.

To lead the branch, A Christmas Story House has named Tyler Schwartz as director of Canadian operations. An Oakville-native, Schwartz is a true fan of the film. He has researched all of the film’s shooting locations and documented his two-year adventure in a 90-minute film called“Road Trip for Ralphie.” While filming this documentary, Schwartz struck up a friendship with A Christmas Story House owner, Brian Jones who later approached him about opening a Canadian location.

Schwartz’s“Road Trip for Ralphie” documentary will premiere at “A Christmas Story” 25th Anniversary Celebration & Convention, held Nov. 28-29 in Cleveland that will bring thousands of fans of the movie for two days of activities and events at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.

Other Canadian-related highlights at this year’s convention include:
· A reunion of actors from the movie, including Canadians Tedde Moore (Miss Shields), Zack Ward (Scut Farkus) and Dwayne McLean (Black Bart)
· Rides in the original fire truck used in the movie from Flick’s famous tongue-on-the-flagpole scene with proceeds benefiting the Chippawa Volunteer Fire Department of Niagara Falls, Ontario, which owns and maintains the fire truck
· The unveiling of newly acquired costumes from the film which have been in storage these past 25 years at a Toronto costume company
· The first public display of two Genie Awards won by “A Christmas Story” for Best Achievement in Direction and Best Screenplay on loan from the estate of Bob Clark, director of “A Christmas Story”


 www.leglamps.ca

Lets Talk Turkey… Chinese Turkey that is!
Pearl of the Orient Chinese Restaurant Christmas Story House & Museum is proud to name Pearl of the Orient as its new official Chinese restaurant. The award-winning restaurant has partnered with A Christmas Story House & Museum to offer a special discount to movie fans. Visitors to A Christmas Story House & Museum can pick up and bring a discount coupon to Pearl of the Orientto receive 10 percent off their bill. In addition to becoming the official Chinese restaurant of A Christmas Story House & Museum, Pearl of the Orient has been named presenting sponsor of “A Christmas Story” 25th Anniversary Celebration & Convention.

We are very pleased to have such a fine restaurant as Pearl of the Orient onboard as our new official restaurant. And yes, for the true fans who want to relive the Parker family’s infamous holiday meal from the film’s finale, Pearl of the Orient does offer Peking Duck, aka “Chinese Turkey”.

Pearl of the Orient replaces C&Y Chinese Restaurant as the official restaurant. C&Y Chinese Restaurant closed earlier this year and served as the official Chinese restaurant since A Christmas Story House opened on Nov. 25, 2006.

Pearl of the Orient has two locations serving both sides of Cleveland. The eastside location of Pearl of the Orient in Shaker Heights is located at 20121 Van Aken Boulevard in the Van Aken Center. The phone number for this location is 216-751-8181. Serving the west side, Pearl of the Orient in Rocky River is located at 19300 Detroit Road in the Beachcliff Market Square. The phone number is 440-333-9302.

Click here for more information on Pearl of the Orient.

A Christmas Story House Logo
 

Recent Fan Submissions
A Christmas Story Leg Lamp CostumeWe received a couple really nice fan submissions last week. 

Jason Harris of Fairport Harbor, Ohio sent in this submission:

“This year I decided to dress up as the leg lamp for my works annual Halloween Costume Contest.  I made the costume myself and I came in first place due to the creativity of the costume.  I wore the costume around that night for trick or treat and ironically met Patty Lafontaine who played the elf in the movie.  She loved the costume and also took pictures of me.”

 

Only 21 Days until A Christmas Story Convention and Celebration!

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Higbee’s and the Elves from A Christmas Story

November 6th, 2008 by Ralphie

A Christmas Story Elves in My Turn Magazine

Higbee's department store article from My Turn Magazine

 

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Act out your own Christmas Story at Ralphie’s

November 6th, 2008 by Ralphie

Link to Original Article

 
SPECIAL TO THE STAR

Cleveland, Oh– “Closer. Closer!” I say to my husband, motioning in the direction of the French-laced leg and fringed hemline. “Would you just touch it already?”

Who would’ve thought, after all these years, I’d have to beg him to get near it?

Christmas after Christmas, my husband’s family has gathered around the television and laughed hysterically through repeats of the movie A Christmas Story.

Now here we were at the actual house where parts of the movie were filmed, standing in the living room an arm’s length away from the famous leg lamp (won in the movie by “the old man” as a “major award”), and my husband Ish was acting like he wanted nothing to do with it.

Even if, like me, you have never seen the movie in its entirety, chances are someone in your home considers it a classic.

This holiday season marks the 25th anniversary of A Christmas Story. In the film, Ralphie – a precocious misfit played by Peter Billingsley – wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, but his mother fears he will “shoot his eye out.” Hilarious hijinks ensue (cue: eye rolling) and in the end Ralphie gets the gun and proves his mother was right … sort of.

The house we’re standing in was the one used in all the exterior shots in the movie (including the classic final scene). And judging by the 60,000 visitors who have passed through its doors since they opened in 2006, my in-laws aren’t the only ones who find the movie funny.

Count Brian Jones among the movie’s fans.

The 32-year-old San Diego native turned his childhood love of the film into a lucrative business. When his dreams of being a fighter pilot were dashed after he failed the sight requirements, Jones began making and selling replica leg lamps (www.redriderleglamps.com).

In 2005, when the two-family apartment house in Cleveland went up for sale on eBay, Jones paid $150,000 for the property and then spent 10 months and $250,000 more to renovate the house to match his all-time favourite movie.

The rest is history.

Lest you think my husband, his sisters and the two men who run this shop are the only die-hard fans, you should know that every November over the American Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 28-29), an A Christmas Story convention brings people from around the globe out to the simple yellow house with green trim.

This year, in celebration of the 25th anniversary milestone, original actors will be back in town, two documentaries about the film will debut and rides will be offered in the original Canadian fire truck used in the film.

Year-round tours offer visitors a chance to take photos throughout the house while a guide explains the various rooms and special touches, as well as access to the museum and gift shop across the street (where mini replicas of the leg lamp in night-light form sell for $15).

“I find people who are of the retiring age like (the house) because in many ways it is similar to what they grew up with,” says our tour guide. And because the house is a renovation, not a restoration, guests can go to town re-enacting their favourite scenes.

“Everyone likes to climb under the kitchen sink,” she says, referring to a popular scene from the movie.

The items in the museum across the street are less hands-on. All have been purchased, collected or donated to the museum. The walls are lined with Warner Bros.’ archive shots of the film and actors have donated their own snapshots of fun in between takes. Original costumes from the Chinese restaurant chop suey scene, Randy’s “I can’t get my arms down” snowsuit and anything else that could be damaged or stolen are protected behind glass.

While many of the cast members have already made a visit to the museum, “Ralphie” remains a holdout. What, you may be asking, ever happened to that pudgy little guy with a penchant for guns?

Turns out he did all right.

“He went on to be an executive producer of some small movies you may have heard of,” museum executive director Steve Siedlecki says with a grin, “like Iron Man and The Break-up.

Not bad.

And yet, despite what everyone has gone through to make this moment possible, my husband is standing stone-faced, a full foot away from the lamp others would kill to touch.

It takes a few minutes of begging and cajoling but I finally make it happen: the husband and the lamp in one shot. His fears that I’ll somehow expose his obsession to the world subside as I snap another shot by the Christmas tree and yet another by the film-family portraits on the stairs.

“See?” I say as I shut down the camera and pat him comfortingly on the back. “That wasn’t so bad.”

Heather Greenwood Davis’ visit was subsidized by the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland.

Heather Greenwood Davis is a Toronto-based freelance writer.

 

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A Christmas Story Ulitmate Collectors’s DVD Released TODAY!!!

November 4th, 2008 by Ralphie

  




 

A Christmas Story Ultimate Collector’s Edition DVD will be released today (November 4, 2008) by Warner Home Video to commemorate the film’s 25th Anniversary. The release includes a Two-Disc DVD, five collectible cookie cutters in iconic Christmas Story shapes; a 48-page cook book filled with recipes inspired by the film; photos and quotes and a custom-designed chef’s apron. All will be festively packaged in a collectible retro holiday cookie tin. 

 

A Christmas Story House & Museum is open year-round on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Tours of the house run every 30 minutes. Regular admission is $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $5.50 for children (ages 7-12) and free for children ages 6 and under. For more information, visit www.achristmasstoryhouse.com or call 216-298-4919.
Sincerely,

Steve Siedlecki, Executive Director
A Christmas Story House  

 

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‘Christmas Story’ House Expands North Of Border

November 4th, 2008 by Ralphie

Link to Original Article

Convention To Be Held Nov. 28 & 29 In Cleveland

The “Christmas Story” house has built an addition to help with the demand for leg lamps. 

A Christmas Story House Inc. announced Tuesday that it expanded its operations into Canada, where other scenes in the movie were filmed. 

The Ohio-based company that owns and operates A Christmas Story House & Museum in Cleveland and an online leg lamp company and gift shop selling items relating to the 1983 holiday film “A Christmas Story” has opened an online branch based in Oakville, Ontario

“The movie was filmed in three locations — Toronto and St. Catharines, Ontario, and Cleveland, Ohio — so it’s only fitting that we be able to serve the customers in the communities that made this film possible,” said owner Brian Jones. “We are happy to finally be able to meet the demand for leg lamps north of the border.” 

The Canadian branch will coincide with the release date of the 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition DVD of “A Christmas Story.” 

There will also be “A Christmas Story” 25th Anniversary Celebration & Convention Nov. 28 and Nov. 29 in Cleveland that will bring thousands of fans of the movie for two days of activities and events at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. 

Canadian-related highlights at this year’s convention include a reunion of actors from the movie, including Canadians Tedde Moore (Miss Shields), Zack Ward (Scut Farkus) and Dwayne McLean (Black Bart) and rides in the original fire truck used in the movie from Flick’s famous tongue-on-the-flagpole scene with proceeds benefiting the Chippawa Volunteer Fire Department of Niagara Falls, which owns and maintains the fire truck. 

“A Christmas Story” premiered around Thanksgiving of 1983. It 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.

 

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A CHRISTMAS STORY HOUSE OPENS CANADIAN BRANCH TO MEET CUSTOMER DEMAND FOR LEG LAMPS WHERE MOVIE WAS FILMED

November 4th, 2008 by Ralphie

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

U.S.CONTACT:                             CANADIAN CONTACT:

Emily Vincent                                 Tyler Schwartz

Landau Public Relations               A Christmas Story House

216-912-2848                                289-213-8810

evincent@landaupr.com                tyler@achristmasstoryhouse.ca

CLEVELAND – Nov. 4, 2008 – Coinciding with the release date of the 25th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition DVD of “A Christmas Story,” A Christmas Story House Inc. today announces that it has expanded operations into Canada. The Ohio-based company that owns and operates A Christmas Story House & Museum in Cleveland and an online leg lamp company and gift shop selling items relating to the 1983 holiday film “A Christmas Story” has opened an online branch based in Oakville, Ontario. The Web site for the Canadian operation is www.AChristmasStoryHouse.ca.

“The movie was filmed in three locations – Toronto and St. Catharines, Ontario, and Cleveland, Ohio – so it’s only fitting that we be able to serve the customers in the communities that made this film possible,” said Brian Jones, owner of A Christmas Story House. “We are happy to finally be able to meet the demand for leg lamps north of the border.”

To lead the branch, A Christmas Story House has Tyler Schwartz as director of Canadian operations. An Oakville-native, Schwartz is a true fan of the film. He has researched all of the film’s shooting locations and documented his two-year adventure in a 90-minute film called “Road Trip for Ralphie.” While filming this documentary, Schwartz struck up a friendship with Jones who later approached him about opening a Canadian location.

Schwartz’s “Road Trip for Ralphie” documentary will premiere at “A Christmas Story” 25th Anniversary Celebration & Convention, held Nov. 28-29 in Cleveland that will bring thousands of fans of the movie for two days of activities and events at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Other Canadian-related highlights at this year’s convention include:

· A reunion of actors from the movie, including Canadians Tedde Moore (Miss Shields), Zack Ward (Scut Farkus) and Dwayne McLean (Black Bart)

· Rides in the original fire truck used in the movie from Flick’s famous tongue-on-the-flagpole scene with proceeds benefiting the Chippawa Volunteer Fire Department of Niagara Falls, Ontario, which owns and maintains the fire truck

· The unveiling of newly acquired costumes from the film which have been in storage these past 25 years at a Toronto costume company

· The first public display of two Genie Awards won by “A Christmas Story” for Best Achievement in Direction and Best Screenplay on loan from the estate of Bob Clark, director of “A Christmas Story”

“A Christmas Story” premiered around Thanksgiving of 1983. It 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 in the United States with a daylong marathon.

For more information on “A Christmas Story” 25th Anniversary Celebration & Convention,” including a schedule of events, hotel packages and convention tickets, visit www.AChristmasStoryHouse.com.

# # #

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CHRISTMAS STORY HOMEMADE

November 3rd, 2008 by Ralphie

I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ALL OF MY FELLOW CHRISTMAS FANS, THE THINGS WE MADE. WE JUST FINISHED THE CHRISTMAS STORY WINDOW, THE HOUSE WE MADE FROM SCRATCH EVERY ROOM, DETAILED TO THE MOVIE.  THE CHARM BRACELET I MADE AND DESIGNED, ALONG WITH THE PILLOWS, GARLAND, SHADOW BOX, DOLLS AT THE WINDOW…..THE DISPLAY IS THE CHRISTMAS STORY HOUSES AND BUILDINGS COLLECTION SET UP FOR CHRISTMAS….ENJOY AND PEACE…..JACKIE

A Christmas Story House fan submissionA Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission
A Christmas Story House fan submission

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