Archive for 2014

Spend Christmas in the ‘A Christmas Story’ house

December 17th, 2014 by Ralphie

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Press Release November 2014

November 26th, 2014 by Randy Parker

BOB CLARK MEMORIAL BENCH DEDICATED AT A CHRISTMAS STORY HOUSE

November 29, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CLEVELAND – November 29, 2014 – A Christmas Story House & Museum is to unveil a memorial bench
in honor of “A Christmas Story” director, Bob Clark. Bob Clark’s Cameo Bench will rest in the exact
location where the beloved director made his cameo appearance in the holiday film as Old Man Parker’s
antagonistic neighbor Swede. In this scene, Mr. Parker is in the street directing his wife while she
positions the Leg Lamp in the front window. Swede comes over to tease his neighbor about the Major
Award he just won!

Bob Clark had a prolific movie and TV directing career including movies “Black Christmas” (1974), and
the coming of age classic, “Porky’s” (1982). In 1983, he directed “A Christmas Story”, an adaptation of
Jean Shepherd’s childhood memoir of a boy in the 1940s. “A Christmas Story” earned the director two
Genie Awards, and in 2012 was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of
Congress for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant”.

On April 4, 2007, Bob Clark died along with his son, Ariel, in a head-on crash in Los Angeles, CA after the
driver of the other vehicle steered into the wrong lane. That driver was later charged with driving
without a license and driving while intoxicated.

Each year A Christmas Story House & Museum welcomes over 50,000 visitors from all over the world
who together share how much “A Christmas Story” means to them. Friends of Bob Clark and A
Christmas Story House & Musuem would like the memorial bench to be an expression of gratitude to
Bob Clark, and a reminder of all the joy he has brought to so many. To also say thank you for selecting
the unassuming green and gold house on West 11th Street as the filming location for this iconic movie,
an action that forever changed the lives of all involved in the small Cleveland community of Tremont.
The dedication for Bob Clark’s Cameo Bench will be on Saturday, November 29th at 10:00am at the A
Christmas Story House & Museum located at 3159 West 11th Street in Cleveland. Media outlets and the
general public are welcome to come out and witness the unveiling.

# # #

MEDIA CONTACT:
Angela Dickerson
216-298-4919 ext. 1011
angela.dickerson@achristmasstoryhouse.com

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How the House from “A Christmas Story” Spawned a Small Business

November 14th, 2014 by Ralphie

Link to Original Article

by Neil Cotiaux

Sometimes, the quirkiest things can spark a novel business idea. Like a lamp shaped like a woman’s leg in a now-classic holiday film.

That lamp, along with an ill-fated turkey and other rib-tickling reminders of A Christmas Story, beckons tens of thousands of visitors a year to A Christmas Story House, tucked away on a side street in Cleveland, Ohio.

Spun from radio monologist Jean Shepherd’s memories of his Indiana boyhood, the 1983 movie in which the kitschy lamp appeared has become must-see TV each year for tens of millions of viewers who delight in the hijinks of Ralphie, The Old Man, and other quintessentially American characters.

“It was a hit right out of the gate for our family,” says Brian Jones, founder and owner of A Christmas Story House and several affiliated businesses.

When a failed vision test dashed Jones’s dreams of becoming a Navy pilot, his parents cheered him up with a homemade replica of The Old Man’s leg lamp, an oddball gift that got Jones’s entrepreneurial juices flowing.

Working out of his San Diego condo in 2003, Jones single-handedly assembled hundreds of lamps to sell on his website, RedRiderLegLamps.com, with his pickup truck serving as collateral for parts. When sales took off, he outsourced production to China.

A year later, Jones learned that the Cleveland house where exterior scenes of the movie were shot was for sale on eBay.

Sight unseen, Jones offered $150,000 to stop the bidding so the house could serve as a tourist attraction and promote his lamps.

“I thought I was getting a steal … a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he remembers.

But when a friend backpedaled on going in as a partner, Jones needed help — and fast.

Enter Steve Siedlecki, a museum guide whose family grew up in the Cleveland neighborhood where the 1895-built house stood. Siedlecki read an article about Jones, emailed him, and said he’d take on the task of transforming the property to reflect the 1940s look and feel in the movie.

“He was the only person who actually believed I wasn’t nuts,” Jones says.

Restoring the house and creating a museum and gift shop across the street were no easy tasks.

Since most of the movie was shot in Toronto, “You had to bring this larger soundstage into a smaller house,” Siedlecki explains. That meant scouring the community for appliances and furniture to “keep the house time-period appropriate,” being mindful of plumbing, and leaving floor space for visitors.

“The upstairs, when you watch the movie, is actually reversed. … The kitchen is reversed as well,” Siedlecki notes.

A bare-bones version of the house opened in November 2006, but the project kept growing through its association with the film and Jones’s leg lamps, as well as by word-of-mouth.

Ultimately, $1.5 million was sunk into the complex using profits from the lamp business, two lines of credit, and proceeds from admissions and gift sales.

On a recent fall day, visitors from three states ambled up the stairs of A Christmas Story House for one of its half-hour tours. They beheld replicas of Ralphie’s sled, the iconic leg lamp, and the kitchen-dining room where Christmas dinner went to the dogs, then traipsed upstairs to see the bedroom where Ralphie fell asleep on Christmas night, his beloved Red Ryder BB gun at his side.

Across the street at the gift shop, fans eyed a 50-inch leg lamp on sale for $179.99 and milled through aisles filled with Hallmark ornaments, “I Triple Dog Dare Ya” T-shirts, DVDs of the movie, and bars of Lifebuoy — the soap used to wash Ralphie’s mouth out. The shop sells more than 200 items in all — with Warner Brothers collecting licensing fees and royalties.

The museum next door features props, costumes, and behind-the-scenes photos from the film’s production. The movie shrine attracts up to 45,000 tourists a year from at least 30 countries.

“They come here and they start quoting the movie,” relates Siedlecki, who holds the title of executive director at a 19-employee operation that’s given him the resources to buy a home for his own family. “It’s on their bucket list,” Siedlecki says.

“Let’s face it, most of us are scoffers,” Ralphie says as an adult at one point in A Christmas Story, “but moments before zero hour, it did not pay to take chances.”

For Jones, taking a very big chance on leg lamps and doubling down with A Christmas Story House turned out to be one of the best decisions of all.

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A Christmas Story Run Press Release October 2014

October 24th, 2014 by Randy Parker

RUN, RUN, RALPHIE!
October 21, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CLEVELAND – October 21, 2014 – A Christmas Story 5K/10K Run is set to take off on December 6th, 2014 at 9:00am! Runners and walkers alike can join in the fun and dress as their favorite movie characters as they visit filming locations from the movie A Christmas Story.

A Christmas Story Run is the only race in which the participants get to run, jog, skip, or walk through iconic movie scenes from the movie A Christmas Story. The inaugural A Christmas Story Run that took place in 2013 and had a turnout of over 7,000 people. This year, they are expecting that number to be much higher. This run will take you past filming locations from the movie, and the runners are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters. You’ll see everything from Pink Nightmares to Running Leg Lamps!

For those who cannot attend the race in Cleveland, there is a virtual option in which participants can still run the race from anywhere in the world. Virtual runners get the same race goodies as the Cleveland runners. Runners for both the Cleveland race and the Virtual race are encouraged to send photos of their run for www.AChristmasStoryRun.com to post and share them.

There are ways to still get involved if you are not a runner! The volunteer sign up will be open until race day. You can find out more about the volunteer opportunities available on the Run website.

A Christmas Story Run is the largest benefactor for A Christmas Story House Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that helps to restore and maintain the Tremont neighborhood surrounding A Christmas Story House & Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. 100% of the proceeds from the race go to the foundation, which has 150 qualifying residences to date.

Registration for both the Cleveland and Virtual Race will close on November 1st, 2014. Don’t miss out on Cleveland’s most popular holiday charity race! Register today at www.AChristmasStoryRun.com.

# # #

CONTACT:
Angela Dickerson
216-298-4919 ext. 1011
angela.dickerson@achristmasstoryhouse.com

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A Christmas Story House Foundation October 2014

October 7th, 2014 by Randy Parker

RALPHIE’S NEIGHBORHOOD IS GETTING A FACE LIFT!

 

October 7, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CLEVELAND – October 7, 2014 – A Christmas Story House Foundation is currently working to restore the Tremont neighborhood surrounding the A Christmas Story House & Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

If you were to take a trip down West 11th, or one of the other streets close to A Christmas Story House & Museum, you may be in for a big surprise!  The streets are filled with contractor vans, equipment and excitement as several restoration projects are underway.

A Christmas Story House Neighborhood Restoration Project is a program managed by the A Christmas Story House Foundation, a non-profit foundation established to restore and maintain the neighborhood surrounding the A Christmas Story House & Museum for future generations to experience and enjoy. The foundation provides grants to projects that enhance and preserve the surrounding neighborhood.  Approximately 150 qualifying residences are located between Clark Avenue, West 14th Street and Buhrer Avenue.

Residents of the neighborhood have completed the initial application process and local contractors have submitted bids on dozens of projects including; exterior painting, gutter replacement, porch repair, fencing, and landscaping.  Approximately $60,000 in grants have been written and multiple restoration projects have begun and are expected to be completed in October.  “Everyone is excited for this project.  Contractors are even out painting houses wearing Santa hats!  You can feel the positive energy in the neighborhood just radiating.” said Angela Dickerson, CEO of A Christmas Story House & Museum.

A Christmas Story House Neighborhood Restoration Project works with and is assisted by Tremont West Development Corporation.  TWDC is a non-profit organization that works to serve over 9,000 residents as well as over ninety small businesses with community building, neighborhood infrastructure improvements, home maintenance and repair, and event planning and management.

A Christmas Story House Foundation is currently looking for community support as these projects are underway.  The foundation is continuing to fundraise and is also looking for volunteers and contractor offers, as well as donations of material to be used in restoration projects.  If you are interested in helping support this Tremont neighborhood, please visit www.AChristmasStoryHouseFoundation.org or call (216) 485-2330.

# # #

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Angela Dickerson
216-298-4919 ext. 1011
angela.dickerson@achristmasstoryhouse.com

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EXCLUSIVE 2014 Dept 56 Re-releases for A Christmas Story House

September 22nd, 2014 by Ralphie

For 2014 Department 56 has re-released EXCLUSIVELY to A Christmas Story House one building and five accessories: Bumpus House, Singing Carols, My Secret Decoder Arrived, Bringing Home the Tree, Department Store Elves, and Turkey for the Bumpus Hounds.

All of these EXCLUSIVE Dept 56 items are available in our Gift Shop.

christmas story dept 56 rereleased exclusives

Bumpus House Dept 56

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September 1st, 2014 by Ralphie

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Christmas In July Press Release 2014

July 11th, 2014 by Randy Parker

A CHRISTMAS STORY HOUSE & MUSEUM HOSTS CHRISTMAS IN JULY EVENTS
July 8, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CLEVELAND – July 8, 2014 – A Christmas Story House & Museum will be hosting Christmas in July events throughout the course of the month.
A Christmas Story, released November 1983, is a delightfully funny holiday classic that tells the story of Ralphie Parker, a 1940’s nine-year-old who pulls out all the stops to obtain the ultimate Christmas present. The movie is based on the childhood memoirs of humorist Jean Shepherd (from his hilarious book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash).
This summer’s focus is to showcase Cleveland, Ohio as the home of A Christmas Story. A Christmas Story was filmed in Cleveland in 1983 and many of the infamous filming locations can be found around the city and enjoyed. Fans of the classic film will be quick to add Cleveland to their summer travel plans after hearing all that is in store!
Events planned for the Christmas in July Celebration of A Christmas Story are as follows:

 

  • A Christmas Story House & Museum Night at Progressive Field – July 11th at 7:05 pm – Progressive Field. Join in on celebrating Christmas in July as the Cleveland Indians play the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field. The first pitch will be thrown by A Christmas Story Run Race Director, Amy Kentner, dressed in a leg lamp costume. The evening will include Christmas themed games as well as fireworks. The Indians are generously donating $4 from each ticket sold through our link to benefit A Christmas Story House Foundation, Inc. For tickets, please visit the Cleveland Indians page at: www.AChristmasStoryHouse.com Special Offer Code: Christmas
  • A Christmas Story House & Museum Classic Car Show – July 12th from 9:00 am to 3:00pm – Steelyard Commons Home Depot. A Christmas Story House & Museum is hosting a classic car show, which will feature the reintroduction of the Old Man’s 1938 Oldsmobile along with the unveiling of their newly acquired 1939 Ford Fire Truck, seen in the movie when the Fire Department rescued poor Flick who had his tongue “Stuck, Stuck, STUCK!” to the flag pole in the school yard. Several celebrity judges will be present, including actor Ian Petrella who starred as Randy Parker in A Christmas Story. This day will be filled with classic automobiles, trophies, prizes, and raffles. Registration is $10 per car which includes a free dashboard plaque for the first 100 cars registered, as well as two tickets to tour A Christmas Story House & Museum.  Admission to the car show for the public is free. Proceeds benefit the Tremont neighborhood through A Christmas Story House Foundation, Inc.
  • Taste of Tremont – Sunday July 20th from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Professor Avenue. This free street festival will be held in the heart of Tremont’s restaurant district and showcase the best of Tremont’s food, art and entertainment. A Christmas Story House & Museum will have a tent at the festival promoting the House and events. Representatives from Cleveland Play House and little “Ralphie” in his bunny suit will also be in attendance.
  • Retro Tuesdays featuring A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation – July 22nd at 7:00pm – Aut-O-Rama Twin Drive-In Theatre – 33395 Lorain Road, North Ridgeville, Ohio. A Christmas Story House & Museum has partnered with Aut-O-Rama Twin Drive-In Theatre for a special Christmas in July celebration. The Aut-O-Rama will feature A Christmas Story and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation as part of their Retro Tuesdays theme night. This night will feature face painting, costume contests, and Major Awards. Along with an actor appearance from Ian Petrella, who starred as Randy in A Christmas Story, and the big guy from way up north, Santa! Be sure to stop by the concession stand for some rich chocolate Ovaltine! Festivities start at 7:00pm, and the back to back movies will begin at 9:40pm. Tickets are $9 for adults (12 and over), $3 for children (4-11), and free for children 3 and under. A portion of ticket sales will benefit A Christmas Story House Foundation, Inc.
  • Christmas in July – July 26th from 10:00am to 5:00pm – A Christmas Story House & Museum – 3159 West 11th Street, Cleveland OH. This Christmas in July special will take place at A Christmas Story House & Museum in Tremont, Ohio. The day will feature a charity neighborhood barbeque from 11:00am – 3:00pm. 100% of proceeds from the day’s ticket sales and barbeque will benefit A Christmas Story House Foundation, Inc.
  • Christmas in July with the Lake County Captains – July 25th and 26th at 7:00pm – Classic Park, 35300 Vine St, Eastlake, OH 44095. Join the Lake County Captains to celebrate Christmas in July with two themed game nights.  On Friday, July 25th, enjoy a free bobble head giveaway for the first 1,500 fans featuring the Lake County Captains mascot, Skipper, with soap washing out his mouth – just like Ralphie in A Christmas Story! Angela Dickerson, CEO of A Christmas Story House & Museum, has been invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, dressed as the Pink Nightmare. The celebration continues on Saturday, July 26th, with an Ugly Sweater Jersey Auction benefiting Captains Charities. A Christmas Story Run Race Director, Amy Kentner, will be throwing out the first pitch dressed as the infamous leg lamp. Both nights will feature a Christmas-themed, post-game firework extravaganza.
  • A Christmas Story 5K/10K Run – Registration open now through November 1st. Registration for the second annual A Christmas Story 5K/10K Run is now open! The run will begin on Public Square in Downtown Cleveland on December 6th, 2014 and take you past the A Christmas Story House & Museum in Tremont. Proceeds benefit A Christmas Story House Foundation, Inc. For more information visit: www.AChristmasStoryRun.com
  • Cleveland Play House A Christmas Story – November 28th to December 21st – The Allen Theatre.  Cleveland Play House will once again perform one of their most popular plays, A Christmas Story, this coming winter. The record-breaking show returns to the Allen Theatre November 28 – December 21. Make your holiday plans now and save! Purchase your tickets to A Christmas Story starting July 1 and enjoy up to a $10 savings on select performance dates. Don’t miss out on the perfect holiday treat for the entire family! More information available at: www.clevelandplayhouse.com
  • “Cleveland Play House A Christmas Story in July” – Starting July 1st. Starting July 1st, Cleveland Play House will have a “Cleveland Play House A Christmas Story in July” costume and prop display, alongside production photos at the Cleveland Public Library main branch on Superior in Downtown Cleveland for the month of July. On Wednesday, July 16, Cleveland Play House will have Ralphie at the Cleveland Public Library for the 11:00 am Summertime Story Fun, then Ralphie will hand out presents during “Blind Date with a Book” at the main branch. Local media, businesses, and the general public are invited to come out and celebrate Christmas in July at these fun events around Cleveland. Many popular characters will be in attendance at these events, including Santa, “Ralphie”, and actor Ian Petrella, who starred as Randy Parker in A Christmas Story.

All of the events sponsored by A Christmas Story House & Museum benefit the neighbors of Tremont through the A
Christmas Story House Foundation, Inc., a non-profit foundation established to restore and maintain the neighborhood
surrounding A Christmas Story House & Museum for future generations to experience and enjoy. The foundation provides
grants, both public and private, to projects that enhance and preserve the surrounding neighborhood. More information at:
www.AChristmasStoryHouseFoundation.org
A Christmas Story House & Museum, now restored to its movie splendor, is located just five minutes from downtown
Cleveland at 3159 W. 11th St. in the Tremont neighborhood. It is open year-round, 7 days a week, excluding major holidays.
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. For more information or for directions, visit www.AChristmasStoryHouse.com
or call 216-298-4919.
# # #
CONTACT:
Angela Dickerson
216-298-4919 ext. 1011
angela.dickerson@achristmasstoryhouse.com

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New 2014 Dept 56 Releases for A Christmas Story

January 7th, 2014 by Ralphie

For 2014 Department 56 has released five brand new accessories: Bullies in the Alley, Hohman Water Tower, Oh Fudge!, The Old Man’s Major Prize and You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!

Additional new introductions include: Ralphie’s House Cookie Jar and A Christmas Story Car & Tree Salt & Pepper Shaker.

The Bullies in the Alley accessory and Ralphie’s House Cookie Jar are EXCLUSIVE to A Christmas Story House.

All of these new Dept 56 items are available in our Gift Shop.

Dept 56 Bullies in the Alley A Christmas Story

EXCLUSIVE Bullies in the Alley is available in our Gift Shop

Dept 56 Hohman Water Tower A Christmas Story

Hohman Water Tower is available in our Gift Shop

Dept 56 Oh Fudge A Christmas Story

Oh Fudge is available in our Gift Shop

Dept 56 The Old Man's Major Prize A Christmas Story

The Old Man’s Major Prize is available in our Gift Shop

Dept 56 You'll Shoot Your Eye Out Christmas Story

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out is available in our Gift Shop

Dept 56 Christmas Story 2014 all five

All Five New Pieces is available as a set  in our Gift Shop

Ralphie House Cookie Jar

EXCLUSIVE Ralphie’s House Cookie Jar t is available in our Gift Shop

A Christmas Story Car Salt Pepper

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out is available in our Gift Shop

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