Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Best kept Cleveland secret - the "A Christmas Story" house

Cleveland is a long way from Hollywood, but it still shines on the silver screen in more than one film. But, this time of year, A Christmas Story is probably the one seen on as many screens as any other. Supposedly based in Indiana, the film was actually shot in Cleveland and Toronto.

Originally a flop when released in 1983, A Christmas Story eventually garnered cult status after appearing non-stop on cable station TNT on Christmas Day in the 90’s. Another film classic was born.

The exterior scenes of Ralphie’s home were filmed in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, close to downtown. The home and yard used for the film were eventually purchased on eBay in 2004 and restored to their film-day’s glory. The house is now open for tours.

Across the street, there is also a museum, complete with behind the scene’s photos and multiple TV’s playing clips from the movie.
• Recall the classic scene where the schoolboy gets double-dared to stick his tongue on the flagpole.
• Remember when Mom and Santa warn Raphie he’s “liable to shoot his eye out”
• And who can forget the Major Award leg lamp.

If those don’t bring the movie back into the forefront of your memory, check out A Christmas Story in 30 seconds in this animated spoof.

Brian Halloran of Dallas, Texas was at the A Christmas Story house recently with his wife Terry, daughter Claire and son Alex. Watching the film is an annual Christmas tradition in their family and this year, while visiting Cleveland, they just had to stop by the house for a visit. Standing with the Major Award leg lamp, they posed for a family portrait to remember the visit.

In addition, to touring the house and the museum, there is also a gift shop across the street complete with leg lamps, bunny suits, etc. With three places to visit, it’s a great stop before or after Christmas shopping. The house is located at 3159 West 11th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44109, just about five minutes from downtown. You can visit their website for hours and prices.

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