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Inside “A Christmas Story” Movie Museum

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?

A Christmas Story Movie House, W. 11th Street, Cleveland Ohio

 

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.

A Christmas Story Movie Museum

 

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

A Christmas Story Dept. 56 Christmas Village

 

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.”

Exterior restoration of house in A Christmas Story movie

 

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.

Interior Restoration of house in A Christmas Story Movie

 

Remember when Ralphie gets his mouth washed out with soap…

A Christmas Story Ralphie Lifebuoy Scene

 

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.

Memorabilia from A Christmas Story movie 1_wm

 

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.

House in the Movie, A Christmas Story

 

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.)

Memorabilia from A Christmas Story movie

 

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

Letter To Parernts of School Children For Filming Of A Christmas Story Movie

 

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?

A Christmas Story Collectibles

 

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!

Letter From Production Manager A Christmas Story movie

 

Remember the scene where Mrs. Parker is taking the turkey out of the oven?

Kitchen in A Christmas Story Movie 3

 

Her pink chenille robe and Randy’s snowsuit are well-preserved for posterity. ;)

Mrs. Parker's Robe & Randy's Snowsuit  in A Christmas Story

 

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.

Costumes Wardrobe from Movie, A Christmas Story

 

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. :)

Mrs. Parker's dress from movie, A Christmas Story

 

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.

Mr. Parker's Jacket worn by Darren McGavin in movie, A Christmas Story

 

We saw this jacket a lot during the movie, it’s the one Ralphie wore.

Ralphie's Coat, A Christmas Story Movie

 

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?

Ralphie's Coat worn by Peter Billingsley in Movie, A Christmas Story

 

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.

Red Ryder B B Gun from A Christmas Story movie

 

Ralphie’s hat, gloves and earmuffs…

Costumes worn in movie, A Christmas Story

 

And who can forget Scut Farkus and his fox hat! lol Next to it you’ll see character, Grover Dill’s newsboy style cap.

Scut Farkus's Hat from movie, A Christmas Story

 

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.

Toys from movie, A Christmas Story

 

Here’s how the shelves look inside their room in the house now.

Shelves in Ralphie and Randy's Bed Room in A Christmas Story Movie House

 

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.

Leg Lamp From movie, A Christmas Story

 

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 “A Christmas Story” Movie House: The House & Neighborhood

A Christmas Story Movie House Neighborhood

 

Inside The Kitchen of “A Christmas Story” Movie House

A Christmas Story Movie House Kitchen

 

Tour A Christmas Story Movie House: The Living Room

A Christmas Story Lamp, A Major Award

 

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)

Ralphie and Randy's Bed Room in A Christmas Story Movie, Cleveland Ohio

 




Comments

  1. I enjoyed this post, Susan. :) This is still one of my very favorite Christmas movies ever. It’s something that they have the mom’s chenille robe on display; I thought she was very pretty, did you? I love the scene with Randy getting all zipped up into his snowsuit. Whew! I’d hate to have to do that everyday. :-D

    Thanks for sharing and have a great day!

    Denise

  2. Susan, Your first sentence says “day trip over to Cleveland, Georgia” instead of Cleveland, Ohio.

    • lol There’s a Cleveland Georgia so my fingers just went on auto pilot. Thanks for catching that, Carla. A little bit of trivia…Cleveland, Georgia is home of Babyland General Hospital…where all the Cabbage Patch Kids are born.

  3. Peggy Thal says:

    The fake teeth are in the beginning if the movie . When the kids are wearing the fake teeth in the classroom the teacher takes them away and puts them in her desk drawer. Teachers used to confiscate items and put them in their desk. Then at the end of the year everyone got their items back.

  4. I have never watched this movie

  5. This is such a fun movie and it’s so great they do tours. I love all the items they have on display, so fabulous! I work with someone who has that leg lamp in their office! Always makes you smile! Great post Thank you
    Rosemary
    http://www.nycstylelittlecannoli.com

    • I did a tour of our historical downtown German Village Holiday Lights festival over the weekend and while I was walking past a fun home noted they had one of those lamps in their big front picture window. I snapped a shot with my phone cam and sent to all my siblings for laughs.

      • lol Love it! I promise you if I had a big picture window on the front of my home, there would be one of those lamps in the window during the Christmas season. HA! Maybe I should put one in the single window that’s up above my front porch. :)

  6. *sigh*…One of the golden oldies! franki

  7. One of the best. Christmas. Movies. Ever. I’ve seen it so many times I could likely recite it. It was and is an absolute fave of my sis and I. Great post, thank you for sharing! You’ll shoot your eye out! :)

  8. bobbi duncan says:

    Thanks, Susan, for this tour…neat stuff from days of old and a part of Xmas memories for many of us. I’m finished decorating…didn’t do as much this year as I usually do. We need a new Xmas tree and couldn’t find one we really liked in the size we wanted, then got tired of hunting for one, so no big tree this year. Seems weird without the main tree but will enjoy the season irregardless, enjoying times spent with family and friends. Hope your holidays are filled to overflowing with lots of joyful, fun times.

  9. Regality (aka The Quing) says:

    We just watched this movie 2 nights ago. What fun!

  10. I didn’t even know that there was a house you could tour! This is my all time favorite movie of the holiday season, it is just a classic! I didn’t know it came out in the 80’s either. I must have lead a sheltered life in the 80’s. lol I wonder why it wasn’t popular at the movies but was on TV? Oh well, I’m glad it got popular because it was a great movie we could all relate to. Thanks for sharing about this, I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to one day visit the house that I didn’t know existed!

    • I missed it in the 80’s too, Brenda. The year it came out was the year my son was born so I guess I was too busy being a new Mom to notice it. I discovered it when my son was around 8-9 and I noticed he was watching it on TV every single time it came on. It was a favorite Christmas movie each year. I thought that was strange, too…that it wasn’t popular in the theater. Maybe they just did a bad job of promoting it but once it hit TV, everyone saw it.

      • pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

        I wonder if it could be that the original had some pretty inappropriate language in it for a family movie, but it was cleaned up for t.v. I remember disliking the movie for that reason and hadn’t watched it since the 80’s, but with Susan’s enthusiasm for the movie, gave it another try. It was much more palatable in it’s ‘edited’ form. I do wonder if that is what made the difference for some people. I love that picture of the exterior of the home and car all covered in snow! I know you don’t like snow, Susan, but I love it. It’s so fluffy and beautiful and cozy to me. :D Of course, I don’t have to battle it every day in the winter like a lot of people do.

      • I was a new mom too! lol I guess we both had our attentions on our new sons to remember it. I don’t remember when I started watching the movie though, I want to say it was in the late 80’s or early 90’s. So glad that we finally saw it though as my kids had a great time watching the movie like most families. I think too they must have done a bad job promoting it.

  11. Susan,
    Bed, Bath & Beyond has that lamp in night lights and small table versions. Love your blog site.

  12. Susan, thanks for such a fun post! We have always loved the leg lamp so much that we created one as a table leg for our little vintage camper. Even has the spike heel. We get lots of compliments and everyone immediately recognizes it as being like the leg in the Christmas Story movie.

  13. Dawn Pinnataro says:

    The teeth were in the drawer, clicking, when the teacher opens her drawer to deposit all the fake ‘buck’ teeth the classroom kids were wearing that morning of “I want you to write…. a theme” scene in classroom. I never saw it in the theater either but I guess I fell in love with it from TV showings. I so love this dang movie. I grew up in suburb of Cleveland and went downtown every year as a kid (early 1960s) to Higbee’s and Halle’s to see Santa and the Christmas parade. My dad worked for Cleveland Plain Dealer for 30+ years. Totally remember having to wear snowsuits like Randy when going ‘out to play in snow’. And being pushed outside for recess, snow or no – only time we got to stay out of the weather was pouring rain! Otherwise, out you went, snow, cold or hot! LOL.

  14. This is by far my most favorite movie! Thanks for sharing! Here’s a little trivia link my sister sent me.

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/54324/25-things-look-while-watching-24-hour-christmas-story-marathon

    • Teresa, I love reading that! So funny all the little things we never notice. I remember the docent who showed us through the house mentioning Bob Clark (the director who played the part of the neighbor) was wearing a knit hat for a team that didn’t exist yet…may have been the Miami Dolphins.

  15. Thanks, Susan, this brings back such wonderful memories. I love this movie.

  16. Thanks Susan for this tour, it makes me want to watch the movie again. I believe it is scheduled for this Christmas.
    I quite liked those aprons, I am especially messy when I bake, so I bought a couple of *fifties* style ones with frills.
    What was the idea of the Canadian dollar bill at the bottom of the letter?

    • I think each child was paid $1 for their services as an extra…or something like that. It was probably a legal requirement. The letter mentions something about payment.

  17. Thanks so much for sharing Susan! I love this movie and it’s a yearly tradition at my house. Loved the “behind the scenes” look. ;)

  18. My brother and I watched this movie when it came out….like 100 times. LOL It is STILL our fave Christmas movie. We have it on VHS (have to update to DVD!!!) My daughter LOVES the leg lamp, (FRAGILE!) and we have the ornaments. We all have our fave parts. (I have MANY. LOL) When my husband kiddingly threatens to buy a BB gun to shoot the awnry groundhog, who, it seems, likes to tantalize my husband..LOL (Caddyshack anybody?? LOL), I follow with “You’ll shoot your eye out”. hahaha

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