CATEGORIES On the Scene
In November 2006, with several original cast members from the movie in attendance (including Scott Schwartz as the flagpole-licking Flick), the 'A Christmas Story' house opened as a tourist attraction, with more than 4,000 'Story' fans making the pilgrimage to the home. Since then, more than 100,000 of the 'Christmas Story' devoted have visited the house and on Thanksgiving weekend, the 2010 'A Christmas Story' Convention will feature an autograph signing with cast members (including, again, Schwartz), a BB gun range and rides on the original fire truck used in the movie to help rescue Flick from the flagpole.
Location as Character: It's where the Old Man's (Darren McGavin) "major award," the Leg Lamp, was housed, where Mrs. Parker (Melinda Dillon) winter-wrapped Randy Parker (Ian Petrella) to within an inch of immobility and where young Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) wore his pink bunny suit pajamas and opened his greatest Christmas gift of all time, the official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time.
Historical Significance: Though some movie aficionados might cite 'It's a Wonderful Life' or 'Elf' or 'A Miracle on 34th Street' as the best Christmas movie ever, Moviefone put 'A Christmas Story' atop its list of the "25 Best Christmas Movies of All Time."
Besides, what other movie has inspired a 24-hour marathon of repeat TV airings every Christmas?
Fun Fact: Not since 'Star Wars' has a movie been better merchandised than 'A Christmas Story.' In addition to several versions of the DVD -- including deluxe box sets and Blu-ray discs -- the official 'A Christmas Story' gift shop in Cleveland (and website) includes such goodies as Bunny Suit Pajamas (just like the kind Aunt Clara sent), 'A Christmas Story' Monopoly and Yahtzee, Parker Family action figures, action figures that depict the classic scene of Flick getting his tongue stuck to the flagpole, replicas of Flick's cap and Schwartz's stocking hat, official Red Ryder BB guns and several incarnations of the infamous Leg Lamp, including actual Leg Lamps, Leg Lamp string lights, Leg Lamp Christmas stockings, a Leg Lamp inflatable lawn ornament, a Leg Lamp light-up tie (with fringe!), a Leg Lamp snow globe and a Leg Lamp cookie cutter.
Directions: The 'Christmas Story' house is located at 3159 W. 11th St. in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, on the city's west side. To reach the house from downtown Cleveland, take 90 West to the W. 14th St. exit. Head south on W. 14th, turn left onto Clark Ave. and right onto W 11th. The 'Christmas Story' museum and gift shop are across the street.
Visitor Info: The 'A Christmas Story' house is open year-round, and tickets are available for guided tours of the house, which also includes admission to the museum and gift shop.