Ralphie’s House

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Ohio,
Northeastern Issue,
November 1, 2008

Twenty-five years ago, a movie with a modest budget and an endearing story premiered in the theaters a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Based on the writings and memories of Jean Shepherd, the movie told a nostalgic tale of a childhood Christmas in the postwar Midwest. It was a minor hit, at best, while it was in the theaters, but this movie since has become a holiday classic.

The movie, of course, is A Christmas Story. Little Ralphie Parker, the Red Ryder BB gun, his old man, the leg lamp, bunny suit, mom’s chagrined smiles, and the red-haired bully have become familiar elements to fans. The movie, while set in Indiana, was filmed in Cleveland and in Toronto. The yellow and green house that Ralphie, Randy, and his parents called home was an actual house located in Cleveland, just five minutes from downtown in the Tremont neighborhood.

You’ll shoot your eye out!
The house used in the holiday classic has been restored to its original 1983 movie appearance. Since its opening on Nov. 25, 2006, more than 35,000 people have toured A Christmas Story House, making it a top tourist and pop culture destination in Cleveland. Purchased and renovated by Brian Jones, a true fan of the movie who sells leg lamps for a living, the house takes visitors on a nostalgic journey to the sights and scenes where Ralphie Parker dreams of receiving a genuine Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot, range model air rifle for Christmas.

In addition to A Christmas Story House, visitors can explore the museum and gift shop right across the street. Here, items from the movie are on display, more than 100 behind-the-scenes photos are featured, and movie-related memorabilia can be purchased.

Group rates are available for parties of 15 or more. An additional discount is available for visitors age 60 and older and those 7–12. Younger kids are free of charge. Complimentary tickets are given to the group’s driver and chaperone.

Holiday hours begin Nov. 26, 2008, and continue through the end of the year; groups can visit Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. After the holiday season ends, the house will be open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 25th anniversary of the beloved holiday film A Christmas Story takes place in 2008, and the museum is hosting its fourth annual event to mark the occasion. A Christmas Story 25th Anniversary Celebration and Convention will feature appearances by original cast members, the premiere of two documentaries about the movie, rides in the original fire truck from the movie, unveiling of original movie costumes, a BB-gun range in the back yard of the house, along with several other events. The celebration will take place Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 28–29, 2008) at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel and timed to coincide with Cleveland’s Winterfest.

A Christmas Story House & Museum
3159 W. 11th St.
Cleveland, OH 44109
(216) 298-4919
www.achristmasstoryhouse.com

 

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