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15 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2006 :  10:19:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the Cleveland house where the 1983 "A Christmas Story" was filmed will open as a tourist attraction November 25. According to an article, "Owner Brian Jones replaced the vinyl siding with wood, had the place painted to match the movie and gutted the inside. He also bought the house across the street, which will be the ticket office, museum and gift shop (featuring leg lamps, of course)." Jones says he is still looking for a claw-foot bath tub and a pull-chain toilet "to finish the 1940s look of the upstairs bathroom."
The house is located in the Tremont neighborhood on Cleveland's near West Side.


11 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2006 :  18:03:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a link to a short photo montage and narration by Brian Jones about the house and its restoration.
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15 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2006 :  11:24:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A press release from the Cleveland Playhouse:

The Cleveland Play House is offering the following holiday gift to our friends:

Come see the stage version of the holiday classic "A Christmas Story" at The Cleveland Play House. For one night only, Thursday November 30, the Cleveland Playhouse is offering a Buy One, Get One Free promotion.

About A christmas story
Phil Grecian’s stage adaptation of Jean Shepherd’s fond and funny tribute to the original, traditional, 100% red-blooded, All-American Christmas. Join young Ralphie Parker in his quest for the “Holy Grail of Christmas presents” – a genuine Red Ryder 200 Shot Carbine Action Air Rifle. Gaze in wonder at his father’s “major award.” Based on the movie filmed in Cleveland in 1983, this classic holiday comedy is a funny and sweet tale of growing up in the 1940s, and is suitable for ages 5 and up.
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25 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2006 :  23:11:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's the AP story about the restorartion:

Fan Restores 'Christmas Story' House
By JOE MILICIA (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated Press
November 23, 2006

CLEVELAND - Ralphie Parker and Brian Jones know what it's like to want something.

For Ralphie, the object of desire was an official Red Ryder, carbine-action, 200-shot, range model air rifle. (Go ahead, say it, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid.") For Jones, the gotta-have-it item was Ralphie's house - the one in "A Christmas Story," the quirky film that's found a niche alongside holiday classics like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street."

Jones has restored the three-story, wood-frame house to its appearance in the movie and will open it for tours beginning Saturday. His hope is that it will become a tourist stop alongside the city's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and other destinations.

He's unsure whether he'll make enough money to cover his $500,000 investment, but as sure as a kid's tongue will stick to a frozen flag pole, he's committed to the project.

"I just want people to come and enjoy it as I have," said Jones, a 30-year-old former Navy lieutenant.

"A Christmas Story" wasn't a big hit when released in 1983 but repeat TV airings and, in recent years, a 24-hour run on TBS starting Christmas Eve have made its story of boy's quest to get a BB gun for Christmas as infectious as the bespectacled Ralphie's eager grin.

"It just kind of sets the mood. In the Jones household, it's on all day once the marathon comes on," said Jones, who's married with an 8-month-old daughter.

Jones first saw the movie in the late 1980s and he and his parents became fans.

When the San Diego resident's dream of a becoming a Navy pilot like his father was denied because of his eyesight, his parents sent him a package to lift his spirits. Marked "FRAGILE" on the outside, it contained a leg lamp his parents built to look just like the one received by Ralphie's father, who proudly displayed it in the living room window, boasting, "It's a major award!"

Jones' mom noted that he could probably make a business out of selling them. In 2003, he started doing just that.

"I tooled together 500 lamps in my 1,000-square-foot condo in San Diego and sold them all in the first year," Jones said.

And he's still making and selling them - $129.99 for the 45-inch model, $159.99 for the 53-inch "deluxe full size" leg lamp.

When the house from the film was put up for sale on eBay in December 2004, it seemed like destiny to Jones.

"I said, `Ooh, I gotta have that.'"

The auction price got up to $115,000. Jones, who shares Ralphie's unflinching enthusiasm, less than 20/20 eyesight and ability to speak at a breakneck pace, said he'd pay $150,000 if the owner stopped the bidding.

"It was mine. I sent him a deposit and flew out two days after Christmas just to make sure it wasn't a falling-down shack," Jones said.

He put in new windows and replaced the 111-year-old house's gray aluminum siding with mustard yellow painted wood and green trim that perfectly matches Ralphie's house.

Although only a couple interior shots were filmed there, Jones has recreated the '40s feel of Ralphie's home with a brown-and-white tile kitchen floor, a wide cast-iron sink in the kitchen, a claw-foot bathtub and, of course, a leg lamp in the window.

He also bought the house across the street - Ralphie runs past it in the film's opening scene - to serve as a museum and gift shop. Several original items from the film are on display, including the infamous snowsuit ("I can't put my arms down!") worn by Ralphie's brother, Randy.

The house is located in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood, just a few minutes from downtown where the exterior department store shots were filmed at the former Higbee's.

The cooperation of the department store is what brought the filmmakers to Cleveland for the film based on author Jean Shepherd's stories of his upbringing in Hammond, Ind.

The house is well known in the neighborhood and neighbors like Marlene Childers have watched the house change owners and go through ups and downs over the years. She's excited about Jones' tribute - even if it means more cars and traffic.

"I love that story," she said.

Jones knows the feeling. And he says stepping onto Ralphie's old street makes him feel like he's in the movie.

Standing in front of the house holding a replica Red Ryder rifle, he discusses his future plans - which could include a nearby bed and breakfast - when, seemingly on a director's cue, a motorist passes, stops his car, rolls down the window and shouts, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"


On the Net:

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.
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15 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2006 :  21:59:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Today Show on NBC will do a feature on "The Christmas Story" house on Tuesday, December 5 (no time listed). And would you believe?! -- the newspaper even mentions the film "is based on a book by humorous Jean Shepherd."
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11 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2006 :  16:31:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a New York Times article on the restoration:

"Mah Gawd! Hey, Maw, It's Cassie! She's home from the reformatory!"
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1 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2006 :  15:21:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Kathleen Darlinger
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223 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2006 :  20:33:55  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I'm going to look into it! Sounds easy. lkjh OPMHS '60
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