By: Pete Kenworthy
CLEVELAND – When Ian Petrella played the role of Randy Parker in A Christmas Story in 1983, he never expected the movie to become a cult classic. Now, he’s repaying fans who’ve supported the film over the years.
“That’s part of the reason why I’m here, to say thank you,” Petrella said. “The fact that we can be here 27 years later is really due to the fans keeping this movie alive.”
In June, on an invitation from the W. 11th Street house’s owner Brian Jones, Petrella moved in to the home and has been a tour guide ever since. He answers questions from people who visit – he also takes plenty of pictures and signs autographs.
A Christmas Story was made when Petrella was 8 years old. He remembers shooting scenes outside this house where he now lives (the interiors were actually shot in Canada). Petrella also has a fond recollection of shooting scenes at the now defunct Higbee’s department store in downtown Cleveland.
While he’s living in Cleveland, Petrella also works as a graphic designer and cartoonist.