Archive for November, 2013

SouthPark Mall marks 30th anniversary of the premiere of ‘A Christmas Story’

November 18th, 2013 by Ralphie

Link to Original Article

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Thirty years to the day after it made its debut in theaters across the country, the movie “A Christmas Story” was once again on the big screen in northeast Ohio.

SouthPark Mall in Strongsville sponsored a special showing of the film to raise money for A Christmas Story House Neighborhood Restoration Project.

Jim Bomba of Old Brooklyn said he’s seen the film thousands of times but never on the big screen. He watches each time for something new.

“I’ll watch things and I’ll see my old high school music teacher conducting the marching band in the Higbee’s opening scene,” he said. “Or, you know, seeing a child in the windows, an extra, and that’s someone I knew growing up.”

While Jim is an expert on all things “A Christmas Story,” Gladys Petrie of Strongsville is not.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen the whole movie at one time,” she said decked out in her Christmas sweater excited to see the film for the first time.

The screening marks the beginning of a busy period marking the 30th anniversary of the film’s release that will include a convention Thanksgiving weekend at Cleveland’s Renaissance, a 5K & 10K run and the opening of the musical “A Christmas Story” at Cleveland’s West Theater, and the play at Cleveland Play House returning after a three-year absence starting Nov. 29.

“The city of Cleveland has embraced us and loved this whole idea so much, it’s fantastic,” said Angela Dickerson, COO of A Christmas Story House and Museum. “We couldn’t ask for anything more.”

 

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A Christmas Story,’ filmed in Cleveland, premiered 30 years ago

November 15th, 2013 by Ralphie

Link to Original Article

CLEVELAND – “A Christmas Story” premiered 30 years ago this weekend.

Today it’s a holiday classic but in 1983, it was considered a bit of a flop.

“Basically it was pulled out of theaters in a few weeks,” said Steve Siedlecki, executive director of A Christmas Story House & Museum .

“A Christmas Story” faced stiff competition during that holiday season: “Scarface,” “Silkwood,” “Terms of Endearment” and “Amityville 3-D” were among other films competing for movie dollars that year.

With a budget of $4 million, it took in $16 million in its short run. Flop, you say?

“Nobody was ready for another Christmas movie,” he said. “It got most of its money earned right here in Cleveland from people who wanted to go see it from being filmed here.”

The film, set in Indiana in the forties, chronicles Ralphie Parker’s struggle to get his idea of the perfect Christmas present – a BB gun.

Locations on Public Square , inside the former Higbee’s department store and outside of a home on West 11th and Rowley Avenue (one block south of Clark Avenue) were used in filming.

The flagpole scene outside of a school and the Chinese restaurant were among locations filmed in Ontario, Canada.

The Cleveland winter that year was very mild. Snow-making machines from Boston Mills and Brandywine ski resorts were put into service to make snow. Soap suds were used in some scenes on Public Square to take the place of snow.

The film faced a very short schedule, shot in early 1983 and released in November of the same year.

Director Bob Clark loved the project and wanted to make sure it was made.

“It was his baby,” said Siedlecki. “He really loved the movie. He loved the storyline, so he really tried to get it out there, filmed and released in the same year.”

Actor Peter Billingsley attended the film’s local premiere at the Richmond Theater in Cleveland’s eastern suburbs.

Its introduction to the small screen is where Clark’s creation would make its way into Americana.

“It really wasn’t until it came onto cable television that it really gained its popularity with VHS tape at the time, going on to the cable and eventually the 24-hour marathon,” Siedlecki said.

Turner Broadcasting would run the movie continually for 24 hours on one of its channels each holiday season.

Warner Brothers took advantage of the film’s resurgence to launch a special collection for the film’s 20th anniversary in 2003.

“It takes on a life of its own. Not only do more people want to watch it on TV but it’s become a tradition to come and visit now too,” Siedlecki said.

One of those fans, making a pilgrimage to Cleveland to pay homage to the film, is Patricia King.

“I watch it all day long on Christmas Day and once it starts on Christmas Eve and evening while I’m wrapping presents,” said Patricia King. “I have a DVD and I put that in before it comes on all day.”

King, from Baltimore, visited A Christmas Story House & Museum with her husband. She said she was the envy of her friends and family, many of whom wanted her to buy items at the museum’s store.

Brian Jones, from San Diego, bought the house used for exteriors of the movie and opened it for tours in 2006.

The home was renovated to mimic the interior scenes from the movie.

Siedlecki said the Tremont neighborhood attraction employs as many as 25 people in peak seasons with almost the same number working in a nearby warehouse handling orders for merchandise, such as the famous leg lamp.

“Thousands and thousands of movies have been released, but to be able to go and see where that movie was filmed and visit its museum is a very unique experience.”

A new expanded gift shop, across from the Parkers fictional home, opened three months ago.

Last August, the “Christmas Story” complex of museum, store and home began a new schedule, now open seven days a week.

A Christmas Story Convention will take place at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Cleveland Thanksgiving weekend.

The following weekend, the Christmas Story 5K/10K run will take place. Runners will run to the house and to locations from the movie. Participants are asked to dress as their favorite character from the movie. The race takes place Saturday, Dec. 7 at 9 a.m.

Tours of the home are scheduled every 30 minutes

Read more: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/entertainment/a-christmas-story-filmed-in-cleveland-premiered-30-years-ago#ixzz2l0pWVIew

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‘A Christmas Story’ turns 30 and Cleveland plans to celebrate with a convention, cast visits, plays, tours – and discounted leg lamps

November 13th, 2013 by Ralphie

Link to Original Article

Cleveland, Ohio – “You’ll shoot your eye out.” It’s hard to believe it’s been thirty years since we first heard little Ralphie Parker’s mom utter these immortal words in “A Christmas Story.” But it has. And three decades after the classic 1983 film based on the Depression-era memoirs of Jean Shepherd hit the big screen, Ralphie, his Old Man, his longed-for Red Ryder BB Gun, leg lamps and the movie have entered the lexicon of Christmas classics.

Perhaps nowhere more so than in Cleveland, where much of the movie was filmed and a museum in the house used in the film opened in 2006.

The museum, which has drawn more than 300,000 visitors since opening, drew 24,000 last December alone – and plans to top that number this year.

“Everybody can relate to this movie,” says Angela Dickerson, Chief Operating Officer of the museum, of “A Christmas Story’s” ever-growing appeal. “Whether you wanted something so badly, like Ralphie and his Red Ryder, or whether your old man is like the Old Man.

“It’s nostalgic, it takes you back to when times were hood and there weren’t all these problems. It’s a good family movie”

In honor of the 30th anniversary, A Christmas Story House & Museum has big plans, from an expanded Thanksgiving weekend convention to a new gift shop, cast appearances, a “Little Piggy” luncheon and more. But that’s not all.   Two area theaters are also planning productions in honor of the Big 3-0.

Here’s how Cleveland plans to celebrate:

A Christmas Story House & Museum,open seven days a week, year-round, 3159 W 11th Street in Cleveland’s Tremont area, 216-298-4919 orinfo@achristmasstoryhouse.com. Tours, gift shop and more. Plus, “take your best shot (without shooting your eye out, of course) at the BB gun range in the House’s back yard!” Hours: Monday through 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 tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children (ages 7 to 12) and free for children ages 6 and under. More info:www.AChristmasStoryHouse.com

A Christmas Story Convention, Friday, Nov. 29 and Saturday, Nov.30: Based at the Renaissance Hotel on Public Square – seen in the movie! – this year’s convention will feature city and house tours, appearances from the actors who played Randy, Flick, Scut Farkus, Grover Dill, and the two Evil Elves; a book-signing with “A Christmas Story Treasury” author Tyler Schwartz; a BB gun range in the backyard of the house; and “Mrs. Parker’s Little Piggy Luncheon,” the chance to enjoy a traditional meatloaf, mashed potato and red cabbage meal, just like Mrs. Parker made, while dining with the cast members. Tickets for the convention and luncheon available atwww.achristmasstoryhouse.com. Hotel discounts available for attendees, too.

“A Christmas Story” 5K, 10K and Leg Lamp fun runs, Dec. 7, Public Square:Register for the first annual run at www.achristmasstoryhouse.com. Get a nice hot cup of Ovaltine when you cross the finish line. Really.

Grand opening of a new 3,500 sq. ft. A Christmas Story House & Museum Gift ShopNov.29: Storewide Black Friday specials between the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., including 30 percent off leg lamps!

A Christmas Story, the Musical,” Nov. 15 to Dec. 8: Near West Theatre presents Cleveland’s first-ever production of this new musical based on the classic 1983 movie. Call 216-961-6391 for tickets or www.nearwesttheatre.org.

A Christmas Story, the Play,” Nov. 2 to Dec. 22: The Cleveland Play House brings back one of the most popular shows in Cleveland Play House history. Expect to see footie pajamas.

“With it being an anniversary year, we wanted to do something special this year,” concludes Dickerson. “We wanted to make Cleveland a destination for all things Christmas Story.”

Mission accomplished.

 

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GRAND OPENING OF A CHRISTMAS STORY HOUSE & MUSEUM GIFT SHOP AND PRESENTATION OF NEW LANDSCAPING

November 12th, 2013 by Ralphie

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A Christmas Story House & Museum Gift Shop and beautiful landscaping opens after over a year of construction and renovation!

CLEVELAND – November 12, 2013 – After much anticipation, A Christmas Story House & Museum will open its newly expanded Gift Shop and present the new landscape and hardscape on Friday, November 29 at 10:00 a.m. Come celebrate the finale of 3 years of planning and hard work with the GRAND OPENING event and ribbon cutting ceremony. The public and media are invited! The gift shop first opened in 2006 in a small room inside the A Christmas Story Museum. Shortly after opening, the gift shop was moved next door to a small 900 sq. ft. home, and took up approximately 500 sq. ft. of retail space. Again, there was simply not enough room! After a year of planning, Klaus Home Improvement began construction on the gift shop in the fall of 2012. Today, construction is complete with a renovation that quadruples the size to an expansive 3500 square-feet.

In conjunction with the GRAND OPENING of A Christmas Story House & Museum’s Gift Shop, there will be the unveiling of the new landscaping and hardscape project, completed by Schill Landscaping. This beautiful addition to the property is designed to create better flow, allow for open seating areas, to make the A Christmas Story House & Museum more enjoyable for visitors, and to beautify the neighborhood and community.

Following the GRAND OPENING and presentation ceremonies, visitors are invited to stay and shop! In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of “A Christmas Story”, the first 30 visitors through the Gift Shop doors will receive a door prize! There will also be storewide Black Friday specials between the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., including 30% off the 45 inch Leg Lamp and the 50 inch Leg Lamp.

ABOUT THE HOUSE & MOVIE:
This year marks the 30th Anniversary of A Christmas Story starred the late Darren McGavin as The Old Man and Peter Billingsley as Ralphie. The film became a holiday favorite years after its theatrical release and is celebrated annually on TBS with a 24 hour marathon.

A Christmas Story House & Museum is located just five minutes from downtown Cleveland at 3159 W. 11th St. in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. It is open year-round on Monday through 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 tickets are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for seniors, $6.00 for children (ages 7 to 12) and free for children ages 6 and under. For more information or for directions, visit www.AChristmasStoryHouse.com or call 216-298-4919. You can also purchase leg lamps and other items online through our online gift shop.

# # #

CONTACT:
Angela Dickerson
216-255-6651
adickerson@achristmasstoryhouse.com

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“A Christmas Story” House & Museum Celebrates 30 Years

November 11th, 2013 by Ralphie

link to original article

“You’ll shoot your eye out!”

Well maybe not your eye, but possibly your feet as you run in the first-ever “A Christmas Story” 5K/10K race on Saturday, December 7 in Cleveland, Ohio — in the city that is home to the actual house the classic movie was filmed in.

The race, which features a run to the home where the movie was filmed, helps commemorate the 30th anniversary of the iconic film. Three decades later, the film has established an almost cult-like following of fans. The sale of the original house on eBay to a fan led to the restoration and the creation of the “A Christmas Story” House & Museum in 2006.

Each year thousands visit the home and museum to have a glimpse of that famous leg lamp (the original lamps used in the movie all were shattered during filming). They can also see the bathroom where star character Ralphie, played by Peter Billingsley, had his mouth washed out with soap. And catch a glimpse of the Red Ryder BB Gun wrapped and ready for Ralphie to find on Christmas morning.

In addition to the house and museum, there is also a gift shop on site. The “A Christmas Story” House and Museum is open year-round but gains special attention during the holiday season. Hours of operation along with ticket prices and tour times are available online. Street parking is free of charge.

Registration for the 5K/10K race runs through December 4, 2013. For more details on the race that will take you down “A Christmas Story” memory lane, visit the event online. Additional events to help commemorate the 30th anniversary of the film include a Blu-ray and DVD release and a special convention on November 29 and 30.

The convention will feature a variety of “A Christmas Story”-themed events and appearances by members of the original cast! There will also be an auction for an exciting VIP package that includes a stay in the actual house from the movie!

The original Higbee’s department store, also used in filming of the movie, has been home to downtown Cleveland’s own tourism bureau, Positively Cleveland, since 2007. So stop by and step through those same doors Ralphie did on his way to visit Santa Claus – and pick up some visitor guides to help you seek out attractions during your remaining stay in Cleveland!

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A CHRISTMAS STORY 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AND CONVENTION COMES TO CLEVELAND OVER THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

November 7th, 2013 by Ralphie

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A Christmas Story House & Museum will be celebrating 30 years of A Christmas Story with a Convention in downtown Cleveland!

CLEVELAND – On November 18, 1983, Bob Clark’s delightfully funny holiday movie, A Christmas Story, hit select theaters across the United States. 30 years later, it has become a beloved holiday classic that has spanned around the globe to entertain audiences everywhere. After much anticipation, A Christmas Story House & Museum is excited to bring the 30th Anniversary Celebration and Convention here to Cleveland, Ohio!

A Christmas Story House & Museum, is partnering with Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Forest City Enterprises, and The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel in hopes of making Cleveland, Ohio the destination for “All things A Christmas Story”. Fans of this classic film will be quick to add Cleveland to their holiday travel plans with all that is in store!
Some of the exciting events planned during the convention include:

• GRAND OPENING of the brand new 3,500 sq. ft. A Christmas Story House & Museum Gift Shop – November 29th Come out and see the remarkable renovation by Klaus Home Improvement! Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, visitors are invited to stay and shop! The first 30 guests through the Gift Shop doors will receive a door prize! There will also be storewide Black Friday specials between the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., including 30% off the 45 inch Leg Lamp and the 50 inch Leg Lamp.

• PRESENTATION of brand new landscaping at A Christmas Story House & Museum – November 29th The public is invited to attend the presentation of the stunning new hardscape and landscape at the Christmas Story House & Museum designed and installed by Schill Landscaping.

• Cast Appearances – November 29th & 30th Meet actors from A Christmas Story and get their autographs. Meet Randy, Flick, Scut Farkus, Grover Dill, and the two Evil Elves.

• Author Book Signing – November 29th & 30th Meet Tyler Schwartz, author of A Christmas Story Treasury.

• Mrs. Parker’s Little Piggy Luncheon – Saturday, November 30th An exclusive opportunity to enjoy a traditional meatloaf, mashed potato and red cabbage meal, just like Mrs. Parker made, while dining with the cast members from A Christmas Story movie. Entertainment provided by Near West Theatre and Cleveland Play House. Tickets are limited!!

• Cleveland’s Winterfest 2013 – Downtown Cleveland, November 30th Cleveland is invited to “create nostalgia” for now at this all day street festival and celebration that kicks off the holiday season in Cleveland. Featuring a spectacular, epic lighting display that will be the talk of the town!

• A Christmas Story, the Musical – November 15th – December 8th Near West Theatre presents a multi-cultural, intergenerational cast in A Christmas Story, the Musical. Cleveland’s first-ever production of this new musical based on the classic 1983 movie. Call 216-961-6391 for tickets or buy online at www.nearwesttheatre.org.

• A Christmas Story, the Play – November 29th through December 22nd One of the most popular shows in Cleveland Play House history is back in a sparkling new production! The perfect holiday treat for the entire family. Cleveland Play House is also thrilled to announce the return of the Festival of Trees!

• A Christmas Story Convention Hotel Special Room Rate – Renaissance Hotel, Cleveland The historical Renaissance Hotel, also seen in the movie, will be offering a discounted rate for your stay during the 30th Anniversary A Christmas Story Convention. This beautiful 4-star hotel is situated right on Public Square, and located only 5 minutes from the A Christmas Story House & Museum, so fans can be close to all of the festivities.

• A Christmas Story House & Museum open from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Friday & 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM on Saturday Tour the House, re-live your favorite scenes, visit the museum and stop by the newly renovated gift shop. Also, take your best shot (without shooting your eye out, of course) at the BB gun range in the House’s back yard!

Everybody is invited to come down and share in the celebrations as there will be entertainment for the entire family! Take a tour of the A Christmas Story House & Museum and visit with Santa and himself! You might even see a “Deranged Easter Bunny” along the way!

ABOUT THE HOUSE & MOVIE:
This year marks the 30th Anniversary of A Christmas Story starred the late Darren McGavin as The Old Man and Peter Billingsley as Ralphie. The film became a holiday favorite years after its theatrical release and is celebrated annually on TBS with a 24 hour marathon.

A Christmas Story House & Museum is located just five minutes from downtown Cleveland at 3159 W. 11th St. in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. It is open year-round on Monday through 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 tickets are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for seniors, $6.00 for children (ages 7 to 12) and free for children ages 6 and under. For more information or for directions, visit www.AChristmasStoryHouse.com or call 216-298-4919. You can also purchase leg lamps and other items online through our online gift shop.

# # #

CONTACT:
Angela Dickerson
216-255-6651
adickerson@achristmasstoryhouse.com

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