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Sunday, December 9, 2007   

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House that appeared in classic film 'A Christmas Story' open to public

CLEVELAND - Prepare for a nostalgic journey to the home of the classic film where Ralphie Parker dreamed of finding a genuine Daisy Brand Red Ryder BB gun under the tree on Christmas.

Ralphie's teacher, mom and even Santa all gave him the same reply, "You'll shoot your eye out." Not to be deterred and wanting the gun so badly, he asked for it 28 times during the movie that has become a holiday classic, "A Christmas Story."

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Now visitors can tour the Christmas Story House where the movie was filmed and visit the memorabilia filled museum. The house has been restored to its original 1983 move appearance by owner Brian Jones, who sells leg lamps for a living.

"It is the place to go for fans of the movie," said Nancy Binzel Pierce, media relations for Zeal PR, Inc.

She said people can see the famous leg lamp, the nearly cooked turkey, Ralphie's theme with Miss Shield's note and the teeth marks in the Lifebouy soap.

"Plus you get to revel with other fans, aka Ralphies, and soak up the atmosphere," Pierce said.

The classic movie has become a tradition for many families and TBS airs a 24-hour marathon of the film. More than 45.4 million viewers watched the film in 2005.

The exterior of the Cleveland home was used in the film and all interior scenes were shot in a sound stage in Toronto. Jones transformed the interior of the house into a near-exact copy of the movie set.

In addition to touring the house, visitors can explore the museum across the street where items from the movie are on display. Many behind-the-scene photos are featured as well as movie-related memorabilia. Some can be purchased

"Randy's snowsuit, his Zeppelin, toys from the Higbee's window display, behind-the-scene photos from cast members, and a Little Orphan Annie and Red Ryder display (can be seen in the museum)," Pierce said. "In the gift shop you are able to see the 1937 Oldsmobile from the movie."

Visitors looking for a unique gift for a fan of the movie will find leg lamps sold in the gift shop and online. A leg lamp snow globe, Monopoly; A Christmas Story edition, a special board game, playing cards, ornaments, Christmas cards, T-shirts and a puzzle are just a few of the movie-based items visitors can purchase.

Fans can purchase a copy of the movie script or a chunk of the house's original wood siding too.

A short drive away, C&Y Chinese Restaurant is the official Christmas Story restaurant. Visitors will find such things as Red Ryder Roll, Leg Lamp Lobster and Ralphie's Chicken on the menu.

Visitors and fans of the movie may want to relive the famous Christmas Dinner scene and order the Christmas turkey dinner. The restaurant's waiters copy the movie's Christmas turkey scene by taking a roasted duck to customer's tables where they chop its head off with a giant cleaver.

"Your ticket stub is good for a 20 percent discount at C & Y Chinese Restaurant, about 10 minutes away, where you can enjoy Chinese Turkey - they chop off the head and sing Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra," Pierce said.

This is a family friendly place to visit so anyone who enjoys the movie will enjoy visiting the Christmas Story House. The house is located at 3159 W. 11th St. Cleveland.

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Originally published December 9, 2007

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House and Museum Hours Directions

A Christmas Story House is open year-round. Hours of operation of the house and its museum are:

Thursday - Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m.

  • From Nov. 1 - Jan. 15, open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day

    Tour Directions

    Admission tickets to A Christmas Story House can be purchased at the gift shop located directly across the street from the house. Tours are conducted every half-hour. Advance tickets are not necessary. Group tours and rates are available. All tours start at the museum.

    From Coshocton:

    Travel Ohio 36 east to I-77 toward Cleveland, Take I-71 north and exit at West 14th Sreet. Follow the round-about and take West 14th St. north to Rowley Avenue and turn right. Turn right on to West 11th. House is on the left at the intersection of West 11th and Rowley Avenue. 3159 West 11th St. Tours start directly across the street at 1103 Rowley Ave.



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