This past summer while visiting family in Ohio, I took a day trip over to Cleveland to visit the home featured in the iconic Christmas move, A Christmas Story. I shared pictures of the exterior and interior over a series of posts that can all be found linked here: A Christmas Story Movie House Tour, Parts I-IV
See the triple window there, just above the porch?
When you’re standing in that window looking out, directly across the street is the A Christmas Story Museum. The museum is where they house all the wonderful memorabilia they’ve been able to collect and find over these years since the movie was released back in 1983.
I thought I’d take you inside today. This will probably be my last post about this movie. I’ll link to all the previous posts at the end of this post in case you’re new to BNOTP and would like to see them or in case you would just like to revisit them again now that the Christmas season is upon us.
Just inside the front door was a little display of all the Dept. 56 lit houses that have been produced to commemorate this fun movie. Those were also set up in cute displays all throughout the A Christmas Story Movie House Gift Store seen in this previous post: A Visit To The A Christmas Story Movie House Gift Store
The museum had so many things to see, including pictures of how the home looked when Brian Jones first purchased it. You may remember from my first post about the home, when Brian purchased it via an auction on eBay (you really can buy anything on eBay!) the home had been covered in vinyl siding and had been divided up into apartments.
The writing in the center of this collage says, “To restore the house to its original movie splendor took over two years to complete. These pictures are from that renovation.”
They had their work cut out for them, undoing the renovations from year’s past and doing their best to recreate the interior we see when we watch the movie.
Remember when Ralphie gets his mouth washed out with soap…
WWII Era Lifebuoy Soap boxes, which is the time period during when the movie is supposed to take place. I just noticed they misspelled the word Lifebuoy on their little sign inside the display cabinet.
When I toured the home, the docent said the snow you see around Ralphie’s Home and down the street had to be manufactured because Ohio was having a rare snow-less winter when they were filming.
These are letters the parents of the children participating in the movie as extras, received letting them know filming at Victoria School had to be temporarily suspended due to lack of snow. It says that for now they have returned to the studio in Toronto but will be back at the first sign of a “healthy snow fall to complete the exterior scenes.” Then it goes on to thank the teachers and parents for their participation.
Can you imagine how exciting that must have been for the kids. They had no idea what a big hit the movie would turn out to be one day. The movie didn’t do well at the boxoffice when it first came out but once it was released to television, that’s when it really took off.
I left all the photos showing the letters below in full resolution so if you click Ctrl + a few times on your keyboard, they should enlarge enough that you can read them. (Hit Ctrl 0 (zero) once finished.)
The other letter above, addressed to the “Parents of Victoria Public School Students,” is thanking the parents and students for their involvement in the movie. Apparently, quite a few of the parents came and watched the filming when it was taking place. What fun that would have been, seeing the “tongue-stuck-to-the-flagpole scene” in person. lol
The sign above the teeth says, ” These are original castings of the fake teeth (made by a Cleveland dental hygienist) and used by Ralphie and his classmates in the classroom.” I don’t remember that scene in the movie right now, do you?
The letter on the left is thanking the parents for letting their children participate as an extra in the filming of the movie. It goes on to talk about how their child was fitted for a “period costume” and for authenticity, haircuts for the boys have been arranged with barbers at the school during the week before filming starts. Can you imagine the hubbub going on at Victoria during late January/early February 1983 when filming was taking place!
Remember the scene where Mrs. Parker is taking the turkey out of the oven?
Her pink chenille robe and Randy’s snowsuit are well-preserved for posterity.
Here’s another dress worn by Mrs. Parker in the movie along with some of the other vintage-style clothing worn by Ralphie and Randy.
I guess that’s an apron over the dress. Very practical for keeping the dress free of spatters and stains while cooking, I guess. Kind of glad we don’t dress this way now.
This is the jacket Mr. Parker wore in the movie. I think it may be visible during the tire-changing scene. I’ll have to look next time I watch the movie.
We saw this jacket a lot during the movie, it’s the one Ralphie wore.
You can see him wearing it in the picture there above the jacket. It doesn’t look very warm for such cold weather, does it?
There it is…the infamous “Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing that tells time,” as Ralphie describes the one thing on his Christmas wish list in the movie.
Ralphie’s hat, gloves and earmuffs…
And who can forget Scut Farkus and his fox hat! lol Next to it you’ll see character, Grover Dill’s newsboy style cap.
These were some of the toys from that time period. Next time I watch the movie, I’ll have to pay attention and see if some of these were displayed on the shelves in Randy and Ralphie’s bedroom.
Here’s how the shelves look inside their room in the house now.
I asked if this was the original lamp and was told that none of the originals survived. Several were made for the movie but of course, they were all broken when that scene was filmed. So this is a recreation of the original.
There was so much more inside the museum but there were other people touring it so I snapped as many photos as I could. If you ever find yourself in the Cleveland area, stop by and tour the home, the museum and the gift shop. It’s makes for a fun afternoon!
If you missed the other posts I’ve shared about this famous movie house, you’ll find them all at the links below. (Click on the titles or the pictures below to view those posts.)
Tour The Upstairs of the A Christmas Story House (Includes Ralphie and Randy’s bedroom and the bathroom where Ralphie had his mouth washed out with soap)