Monday, September 6, 2010

A Christmas Story House

The film takes place in fictional Hohman, Indiana, the setting of writer Jean Shepherd's stories, based on his actual hometown, Hammond, Indiana. Cleveland was chosen because of Higbee's Department Store. 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 exteriors, Cleveland was the location used for the scenes involving Higbee's department store, despite the fact that there were no Higbee's stores in Shepherd's hometown.

Cleveland was only one of several locations used. The school scenes were shot at the Victoria School in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. The Christmas tree purchasing scene was filmed in Toronto, Ontario, as was the sound stage filming of interior shots of the Parker home.

The exterior shots of the house and neighborhood where Ralphie lived were filmed in the Tremont section of Cleveland's West Side. The "...only I didn't say fudge" scene was filmed at the foot of Cherry Street in Toronto; several lake freighters are visible in the background spending the winter at Toronto's port, which lends authenticity to the time of year when the film was produced.

A Christmas Story House Museum:

Brian Jones, a fan of the film since childhood, purchased the house across the street 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, and hundreds of behind the scenes photos. The house to the left of the museum features a gift shop with movie memorabilia.

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 first weekend.

This is one of my favorite Christmas movies. A very warm telling of a family during the Christmas season.
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