A Christmas Story House

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A Christmas Story House
Christmas Story House.jpg
Established2006 (House built in 1895)[1]
Location3159 W 11th St.
Cleveland, Ohio 44109
USA
WebsiteA Christmas Story House

A Christmas Story House is an attraction and museum in Cleveland, Ohio's Tremont neighborhood. The 19th-century Victorian, which was used in the exterior and some interior scenes of Ralphie Parker's house in the 1983 film A Christmas Story, was purchased by a private developer in 2004 and has been restored and renovated to appear as it did both inside and outside in the film. The museum is part of a complex of four buildings devoted to the film, and is open to the public year-round.

History[edit]

Production[edit]

The screenplay for A Christmas Story is based on material from author Jean Shepherd's collection of short stories, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. The house, that appears in the film, is located at 3159 W 11th Street, Cleveland, Ohio.[2] For the film adaptation of these stories, director Bob Clark reportedly sent scouts to twenty cities before selecting Cleveland for exterior filming. Cleveland was chosen because of Higbee's Department Store, Vice-President Bruce Campbell took on the project hoping to get a boost in sales from the attention the filming would create. Higbee's is ultimately featured in three scenes in the film. Appropriately, the fictional boyhood home of Ralphie Parker is on Cleveland Street, the name of the actual street where Shepherd grew up. In addition to the house film location, Cleveland was the location used for the scenes involving Higbee's department store.[3] The exterior shots and some interior shots of the house and neighborhood where Ralphie lives were filmed in the Tremont section of Cleveland's West Side. Producers chose the home because of its proximity to downtown and it bordered the Cuyahoga River Valley offering views of the steel mills in the valley.

Restoration and reconfiguration[edit]

In December 2004, Brian Jones, a San Diego entrepreneur and fan of the film since childhood, bought the house on eBay for $150,000.[4] Jones used revenue from his business, the Red Rider Leg Lamp Company, which manufactures replicas of the "major award" Ralphie's father won in the film, for the down payment.[5] The previous owners had reconfigured the house, installing modern windows and covering the original wood siding with blue vinyl. Watching the movie frame by frame, Jones drew detailed plans of the interiors, which had originally been filmed on a Toronto sound stage, and spent $240,000 to gut the structure, reconfigure it to a single-family dwelling, transform it into a near-replica of the movie set, and restore the exterior to its appearance in the film.[6]

A Christmas Story House Museum[edit]

Jones also purchased the house across the street from the Christmas Story House and converted it into A Christmas Story House Museum, which contains some of the props from the movie, including Randy's snow suit, the Higbee's window toys, the chalk board from Miss Shields classroom, an original Rey Ryder bb-gun use in the filming and hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos. In addition, the house to the left of the museum features a gift shop with movie memorabilia and souveniors.

The house and museum opened to the public on November 25, 2006, with original cast members attending the grand opening, and the site drew 4,300 visitors during its opening weekend.[6]

Both the house and the recently renovated Bumpus house next door are available for overnight stays.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ralphie's House – A Christmas Story House – Ralphie's House Restored to its A Christmas Story Splendor
  2. ^ "Famous Hammond Personalities: Jean Shepherd". HammondIndiana.com. Archived from the original on 5 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
  3. ^ "Higbees". Archived from the original on 2006-11-23. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
  4. ^ "Brian Jones, Owner, A Christmas Story House & Museum". October 17, 2008. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  5. ^ "Handle With Care". Cleveland Magazine. Great Lakes Publishing. 36: 128–96. November 2006.
  6. ^ a b Christopher Maag (December 6, 2006). "Recreating 'A Christmas Story' for Tourists in Cleveland". The New York Times. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  7. ^ "Home". A Christmas Story House. Retrieved 2018-12-24.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°28′7.40″N 81°41′14.72″W / 41.4687222°N 81.6874222°W / 41.4687222; -81.6874222