A Christmas Story House - Cleveland Article

A Christmas Story House


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A Christmas Story House

Dec 2, 2016, 12:00 am
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Every Christmas Eve, TBS commences its 24-hour marathon airing of A Christmas Story. The tradition, which has been going since 1992, brings this quirky—yet fun—Jean Shepherd holiday story to life and into the living rooms of families nationwide.

But, did you know that portions of A Christmas Story were filmed right here in Cleveland?

Better yet, did you know that you’re able to tour the actual house where these scenes were shot?

That’s right, you can be one with this Christmas cult classic. Here’s how.

About the A Christmas Story House

Located in the edgy, bustling community of Tremont, the A Christmas Story House is a year-round holiday attraction quaintly situated along a typical neighborhood street.

The house became the set of this 1983 classic after movie producers were desperate to find a 1940s-style house that had the backdrop of what appeared to be an Indiana steel town in winter. Tremont, which was once the neighborhood of choice for Cleveland steel workers and their families, once stood on the outskirts of the city’s thriving steel industry. It was the perfect set location.

Beyond shooting at the Tremont house, producers also used various other Cleveland locations for scenes such as the Higbee Department Store (now JACK Cleveland Casino). Many of the extras were Clevelanders themselves.

As years progressed and Cleveland underwent a myriad of social and economic changes, the house—which had fallen into disrepair from several owners—was up for sale. The price? An underwhelming $115,000.

Enter: Brian Jones. This California native was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. His lifelong dream had been to become a naval aviator. But that dream came to a screeching haul when he unexpectedly failed the Navy’s sight requirements test.

His parents, who watched on sympathetically, sought to give him a good laugh to help work through this devastating blow. So, they put their heads together and built a replica of the Major Award Leg Lamp featured in Brian’s favorite move, A Christmas Story.

What they thought would give him a good laugh actually gave him a good idea.

Brian went on to create his own business purveying leg lamps from A Christmas Story (as well as other movie prop replicas). It was a huge success.

So, when he saw the eBay listing for the Tremont house, he knew what he needed to do—buy the house.

After two long years and several thousands of dollars, Brian and his team restored the house to look exactly as the set in A Christmas Story. From the 1940s-style kitchen where brother Randy famously hid under the sink (“Daddy’s gonna kill Ralphie”) to the tiny bathroom where Ralphie’s mouth was washed out with old-school Lifebuoy Soap, everything is as it appears in the movie. 

Visit A Christmas Story House

The A Christmas Story House, opened year round, is a Cleveland attraction that’s garnered visitation from all over the world. Tour the house as the staff shares stories, movie lines and more. Explore the movie replica furniture and props. You will feel like you are sitting inside a scene from the movie.

And, while there, don’t be afraid to touch. Pick up the Red Ryder BB gun, chase Black Bart around the backyard, hide under the sink, check out the leg lamp in the window and even try on some bunny pajamas compliments of Aunt Clara.

Afterwards, swing by the A Christmas Story House Museum across the street where you can find all sorts of movie props, original costumes, memorabilia and photography.

Next door, stop by the A Christmas Story House Gift Shop where you can reel in some serious souvenirs including a Major Award Leg Lamp, Red Ryder BB gun, ornaments, apparel and tons of Christmas magic.

 

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