By Matthew V. Libassi
You’ll shoot your eye out kid.
The cult-classic Jean Shepard inspired film, “A Christmas Story,” has charmed audiences for more than three decades, and has become a cultural tradition during the holiday season.
While the world eyes Cleveland as the host city for the Republican National Convention, it’s easy to overlook another national treasure, the place where a bulk of the 1983 MGM movie was filmed.
Situated 20 minutes south of the Quicken Loans Arena, with a backdrop of industrial plants, picket-fenced homes, sits the house where Ralphie and the rest of the Parkers resided.
Purchased in 2004 by San Diego entrepreneur, Brian Jones site un-seen, on eBay for $150,000. Jones then pumped in an additional $240,000 to restore the house to what it is today.
“We have a foundation we started where we raise of the neighborhood. We have a 5k/10k where the money raised goes back to the [local] homes” Sam Goodrich, tour guide for the house and museum, said.
Filming took place at the house, it’s backyard, and all around town. Higbee’s Department store, now the Jack Cleveland Casino, allowed the crew to build a 30-foot Santa slide and film well past the Christmas season.
FOXBusiness.com took an all-access tour of “The Christmas Story House & Museum” an interactive replica of the movie’s exterior and interior as well as a museum where actual film props, costumes and other memorabilia are protected. For $11, fans flock from all across the nation to get a glimpse of the iconic house, sit at the kitchen table and take aim with a Red Ryder BB gun.
If you’re on the fence about whether to visit, maybe this is your inspiration — Ralphie’s bud Scwartz would triple dog dare you not to be one of the 65,000 visitors Goodrich says flock to the residence each year.
“Of course Christmastime being a bit of a monster, lots of people come through, thousands of people lines down the street” Goodrich said.
As for the RNC, even though it geared up for an influx of visitors, the number of people has been “average” according to Goodrich.