Inside The Kitchen of “A Christmas Story” Movie House

Welcome to the 306th Tablescape Thursday!

A visit to the 19th-century Victorian home used in all the exterior scenes of the movie, A Christmas Story, is an interactive one. As we stepped inside the front door for the tour, our guide immediately invited us to have a seat in the living room. Whaaat? That’s not something you normally get to do while touring a home! I knew right then this wasn’t going to be your average home tour.

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

 

Since today is Tablescape Thursday, we’re going inside the kitchen of this iconic movie house where you’ll find a sweet table set with the vintage dishware of the day. So many hilarious and important scenes took place here in the kitchen, it’s practically a character in the movie!

When Brian Jones first purchased this home located in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, he had a huge job ahead of him. The home was clad in vinyl siding, all the old windows had been removed for shiny new models (boo hiss) and the inside had been redesigned into a duplex.

Though the interior shots were filmed on a sound stage in Canada, he wanted the fans of A Christmas Story to experience the home as it was in the movie. He did his best to recreate the interior of the home seen in the movie which was no small feat considering it was filmed on a set.

Notice the table and chairs, brown-painted wainscoting, vintage stove and refrigerator.

Kitchen in A Christmas Story Movie House

 

It appears they found the same style table and chairs seen here in this scene from the movie. The stove and refrigerator are very close. Notice the bread box atop the refrigerator in the movie and in the home today.

Kitchen in A Christmas Story Movie 4

 

The movie was filmed in 1983, I don’t think Brian (the owner) had even been born yet. By the time he bought the home in 2004 and began restoring it, it had been many years since the filming of the movie. Many of the original props, costumes, etc… have been found and are on display in the A Christmas Story Museum across the street from the house. The items inside the home are antiques that are as close to the originals as possible. You can understand why they wouldn’t want the original props on display inside the home itself, especially since they let you pick up and play with everything you see while on the tour.

A Christmas Story Movie House Kitchen

 

Notice the checkered floor in the movie.

A Movie House Kitchen

 

It’s here in the real home, too.

Brown Checkered Floor in A Christmas Story Movie House Kitchen

 

During my visit to tour the home, I noticed the table was set with Fiestaware, a popular dishware back in the 1940’s when this movie was supposed to have taken place.

A Christmas Story Movie Kitchen Table With Fiestaware

 

In this scene from the movie, we see the same dishware in use.

Dining Table and Fiestaware in A Christmas Story

 

See the pink bib?

A Christmas Story Movie Kitchen Table Set With Fiestaware

 

Anyone remember it from the movie?

A Christmas Story, Randy's Bib

 

Randy wore it in this hilarious scene from the movie where he eats like “a little piggy from a trough” at his mom’s encouragement, brother Ralphie’s amusement and his dad’s bewilderment.

Randy Eating Like a Piggy in Movie, A Christmas Story

 

A few close-up views of the stove…

Movie, A Christmas Story Antique Stove With Turkey

 

There’s the infamous Christmas turkey…remember the dogs?! Thanks to Penny for sharing that the big thing underneath the stove is a meat roaster. I never would have guessed that!

A Christmas Story Movie House Antique Stove With Turkey

 

We get a brief view of Mr. Turkey in the movie before he gets gobbled up by a wild pack of hungry dogs. Notice the robe being worn by Melinda Dillon (Mrs. Parker) in the movie. It’s on display in the museum and you’ll see it in another post soon.

Kitchen in A Christmas Story Movie 3

 

Shhh, don’t tell anyone but the turkey looked a little on the dry side. 😉

Pulling the turkey from the oven in A Christmas Story Movie House

 

A visit to A Christmas Story movie house is definitely like stepping back in time.

Antique Radio, A Christmas Story Movie House

 

Another view of the refrigerator with a 1940’s bread box atop.

A Christmas Story Antique General Electric Refrigerator

 

The other side of the kitchen…

A Christmas Story Movie House Kitchen (2)

 

Remember the old cabinet visible in the background in this scene below?

Kitchen in A Christmas Story Movie 3

 

This one is very similar. I wonder it they painted it because the paint looked new. If the paint isn’t original, seems like they would have painted it green. Doesn’t it look green in the movie?

A Christmas Story Movie House Kitchen Blue Cabinet

 

A peek inside…

A Christmas Story Movie House Kitchen Cabinet

 

I loved looking at all the vintage pieces on the shelves in the kitchen. I’m sure many are reproductions but some did look old. Kind of makes me wonder what we are using in our kitchens today that will still be around and considered “antique” one day.

A Christmas Story Movie House Kitchen Shelf

 

I shared a quick glimpse of the sink and washing machine in a post the other day.

A Christmas Story Kitchen Sink & Maytag Wringer Washing Machine

 

A Christmas Story Kitchen Sink 3

 

We saw an Oxydol box in an earlier scene from the movie, didn’t we? Look at that old grater on the left. They must have had so much fun searching for everything needed to reproduce the kitchen and the other rooms in this wonderful house, now famous from the movie.

A Christmas Story Kitchen Sink, Randy's Cabinet

 

I don’t remember the pot in the sink but I think someone on Facebook mentioned cabbage being cooked in one in the movie. I need to watch the movie again this weekend to refresh my memory.

A Christmas Story Sink

 

Aren’t we glad our washing machines have evolved!  That wringer thingy scares me after reading some of your comments on THIS post a few days ago.

A Christmas Story Movie House Maytag Wringer Washing Machine

 

Remember the infamous cupboard scene with Randy?

Kitchen in A Christmas Story Movie 2

 

Visit the house and you can be Randy hiding out under the sink, too. All I needed was a glass a milk. lol

Under the sink

 

You can view that short scene with Randy by clicking on the photo below or at YouTube here: A Christmas Story, “Daddy Is Going to Kill Ralphie” Scene

A Christmas Story Scene with Randy Hiding Under Kitchen Cabinet

 

Hope you enjoyed a look inside the kitchen used in the movie, A Christmas Story! If you are ever in the Cleveland area, go see this house! It’s a lot of fun and not something you often get to experience.

Tour the outside of the home and see the surrounding neighborhood in this previous post: Tour “A Christmas Story” Movie House & Neighborhood.

Take a tour of the house as seen in the movie itself in this previous post: A Christmas Story Movie House

House in the Movie, A Christmas Story

Looking forward to all the beautiful tablescapes posted for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

Tablescape Thursday

 

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Comments

  1. What FUN Susan! It’s a family tradition to watch the movie every year and we can all quote it! Love your pic under the sink 🙂

    • Thanks, Mary! I always hate posting pics of myself on the blog but for some reason, I don’t mind if I’m being silly. That must be an indication of my maturity level. lol

  2. Thank you so much for the wonderful tour of this kitchen. I love everything about this humble and sweet scene. Of course I remember the mashed potatoes and the bib! Now we all know how tiny you are after seeing you in the cabinet under the sink. I am 5′ 1″ ~ how tall are you?

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

    • Thanks, Susan! Is that table just the cutest…makes me want to buy some Fiestaware! I’m 5’4″. You would easily fit under the sink if I could get under there! 🙂 Gracefully getting back out is a bit of challenge, though. lol

  3. How fun! I have to say I like modern kitchens much better! That big sink ensemble is huge! Can you imagine buying that in a new version at today’s prices! You look so cute under the sink! I always felt so sorry for the mother in that movie- she was always so bewildered! That turkey and dog scene was over the top in the movie and the eventual dining experience was too funny! I’m enjoying your visit – thanks for sharing!!

    • Thanks, Liz! I know but she managed to stay calm at some pivotal times when I’m sure I would have lost it. lol The dad reminded me so much of some of my friend’s Dads growing up.

  4. Thanks so much for the fun tour. My favorite all time Christmas movie. I think I have every line memorized. xo Laura

  5. This tour was too much fun Susan, how nice to be able to actual touch things on a tour! What a fabulous recreation of such a classic movie set, I can’t imagine actually cooking or washing in that space, much less eating at that table, yikes! Thanks for the fun tablescape Thursday!

  6. Oh Susan…I loved seeing you “under the sink” and taking out the turkey in that most famous kitchen!…I am such a huge fan of the movie…I do a “Christmas Story” vignette every Christmas with my “leg lamp” and Ralphie dressed in his bunny PJ’s…the movie plays all day Christmas day in my house…One day I would love to tour the house…So glad you had fun touring this iconic house!

    • That sounds like so much fun, Shirley! I was so tempted to buy some of those bunny PJs in the gift store. I think the ones in the store were really more of a costume. Be great for Halloween! 🙂

  7. Thank you Susan! On our trip north last year, I couldn’t talk my family into the detour off the turnpike into Cleveland to visit the house so I’m thrilled to see the details here.

  8. Hi,

    Thanks for hosting the party!

    I really love it! Check my collections too – http://bit.ly/WelsUy

    Have a great day!

  9. CityMommy says:

    Those are Christmas card worthy photos! Love it — and the movie!

  10. Susan, you are so cute! I love the shot of you inside the cabinet. This is one of my favorite movies, and I loved seeing these pictures of the kitchen. They did a fabulous job of recreating the one in the movie. I think it would be so much fun to create something like this. How fun that they let you sit on the furniture and hide under the sink! Thank you for the tour. laurie

  11. SharonFromMichigan says:

    What a neat tour! I definitely need to put this on my vacation to-do list.

  12. Selma Kessler says:

    Susan, gosh, you are a petite little thing! You should include that photo if you send out Christmas letters. I’d get stuck if I tried to hide in the cabinet under the sink! 😀 The “Christmas Story” house is so cool! Love the story about the restoration, too. As always, thanks for the fun post!

  13. Hi…….there isn’t much i’d change..maybe paint the sink cabinet..and use a huge table to have some kind of work area..but other then that i like it’s just fine the way it is..i never seen that movie..now i get why you under the sink was a big clue..i’ll have to keep an eye out this yr..after all..i am a HUGE sucker for Christmas movies..big or small..LOVE Hallmark & The Family channel…

  14. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Susan, all I could think of was how did women cook in that type of kitchen? It was probably quite the modern marvel at the time, but it just seems like there’s no place to work or prepare food, and yet most families probably ate wholesome, delicious meals at that time.

    I wonder how hard it was for Brian to find some of those old items — and how much it cost him to re-do the house, after he paid so much! It really was a labor of love though. Does he actually live in the area do you know? It’s very interesting that someone took their fandom that far and makes me wonder if there are other people out there who may have recreated a movie or show that they loved so dearly. It would be fun to know. Thanks for sharing your tour. 🙂

  15. What a great tour of such an iconic movie! totally adorable. Thanks for hosting another great party, have a god day!

  16. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    By the way, Susan, did they happen to say if any of the original cast or crew has visited the refurbished house? That would be fun. 🙂

    • Yes, some did. I don’t know if the main actor who played Ralphie has (Peter Billingsley) but I know several of the other actors have. Here’s a video showing opening day and the owner introducing a bunch of the characters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MO-s5JpqKU I wonder what happened to the house that’s next door in that old video. I wonder if it burned down or something. It’s soooo close to the house, if it burned it’s a miracle it didn’t take it too.

  17. Brings back lots of memories, love the retro look,…Christine

  18. Being that I am olden, I can remember the sinks of that era. Mother would prepare a lot of food on the kitchen table and we had a Hooser chest with all the baking good inside. But she cooked large meals and we always ate in the kitchen during the week unless it was Sunday or we had company.
    That kitchen brought back so many memories that I had forgotten about – especially that refrig. and doing all the dishes LOL.
    What a great tour and very unusual letting you sit on the furniture.
    Thanks so very much Susan.
    Mary

  19. bobbi duncan says:

    Thank you for sharing this great tour. It is so cool that you actually get to interact with all the memorabilia, and you look so sweet tucked under the sink. This movie is a Xmas favorite in our home, partly because it reminds us of our childhood. My Grandparents had the same sink in the first home I remember them owning, except it had a gathered skirt around it that my Grandmother liked to change with the seasons and holidays, same round-tub style washer ( as did my Mom, in the 1950’s ), same everyday fiesta china, so many of the same products on shelves throughout the kitchen, and the big free-standing stove. Looking at the pictures made me think of fun times shared with my Grandmother, sitting at the small kitchen table with the yellow plastic tablecloth, rolling out dough for the many delicious pies she always made. I spent some time this morning making a list of as many old-timey products as I could recall, which really got me to thinking about so many wonderful memories. I also remember the milkman leaving those glass bottles in the metal box on our front porch. We always go over to the quaint little shops in Moorestown, NJ, where we both grew up, as it’s just one hour from us. A couple years ago, we just cracked up as we were driving through town around Xmas time because one of the lovely Victorian homes had in it’s front window ( you guessed it! ) a replica of the leg lamp. Too funny. If anyone passes through Moorestown, be sure to look for the lamp as it’s right on Main St.

  20. Donnamae says:

    Oh, what great pictures! We watch that movie every year…sort of a Christmas tradition of sorts! You know what amazes me, is the lack of countertops! And, for as many times as I’ve seen this movie, I don’t think I ever noticed that before…and I usually notice things like that. I’m the one who watches It’s Complicated for the 30th time for the sets…know what I mean Susan? 😉

  21. I loved this tour!!! So many things I remember from my mom’s kitchen growing up!! And aren’t you so cute sitting under the sink!!! We had the same sink, and I remember we used the kitchen table to work on because there were no counters…..the kitchen was warm and cozy. We didn’t have fiesta ware but dishes from The Jewel Tea Co. in the Autumn pattern. Our laundry was in the basement with the wringer wash and large double tubs. The old wood burning stove was also down there, and that’s where we cooked and ate dinner in the hot summers. There were Bilko doors that opened to the outside. Remember the song…..’slide down my cellar doors’ ??? We did the same!!!

  22. The interior brought back so many memories of things my mom had. I too am so happy that washing machines have changed, we had one just like the on here. Ginger ale was one of my mom’s favorite beverages and I remember that label on the bottle as well as the Oxydol. I’d love to go on this tour. Thanks again for the pictures!

  23. It’s only recently that I became aware of the movie. We were visiting my husband’s family at Christmas and his younger brother said it was his favorite show and he said he watched it over and over and over. I don’t think I’ve seen the whole thing, yet. Haha! I know…you wonder where I’ve been living to have missed it. 😉

    Susan, you look so cute serving the turkey and sitting under the sink. I’m so glad you had your picture taken there…so fun!

    Here’s to many more extraordinary adventures!
    Diane

  24. Mary from Virginia says:

    What a fun tour! Good thing you checked on the turkey, I bet it was dry.

    Cute cute movie. A couple of Christmases ago, the TV ran a Christmas Story marathon on Christmas day, it repeated all day long!

    Love that sink. It is amazing what a long way kitchens have come.

  25. Oh how fun to visit a house like that from way back, I so enjoyed you sharing it with us!
    I barely remember mother’s kitchen in Astoria-Queens in the 50’s! I just knew you were under some old kitchen cabinet, lol! You were so lucky to be inside that house. I love the movie, I see it with my little g’girls each C’mas.
    Thank you for hosting and sharing and for having me.
    FABBY

  26. Charlotte says:

    Thank you for sharing that tour! I love that movie too, watch it every Christmas. What a great story of how it all came to be.
    My Great Aunts lived in their parents house (my Great Great Grandparents) and the kitchen was similar – very simple with a sink like that, the stove was a little newer and an old refrigerator, a table in the center and a large built-in cabinet with storage on the bottom and glass doors on top. That is where they kept the beautiful blue & white canisters with windmills on them that I just loved. My Sister & I now share that canister set and we cherish it. They always did all prep work on the table, I can see my Aunt now squeezing lemons to make lemonade for us. Wonderful memories!

  27. I actually have never seen the film but I did enjoy you sharing your tour. We, in fact, had a stove like that when we first purchased our home (it was the original 1948 Chambers stove), which I thought was really cool until I realized I would have to manually light the thing. That lasted less than a week and the poor stove was gone pronto. It’s ironic that several of the posts this week either centered on retro themes or Christmas in July, which tie in perfectly to your post… 🙂 Thanks, as always for hosting! As a new blogger, you are generating a good deal of my traffic and I can’t thank you enough!!!

  28. What a hoot, seeing you cooking turkey in the kitchen and hiding in the cupboard, Susan. I would love to play house in there. I will have to watch this movie again, as it is a long time since I last saw it and I can only remember some of it.
    Now, I will picture you in the kitchen!! 🙂 Am thoroughly enjoying this!!

  29. I never saw this movie, but now when I see it pop up on the cable listings around the holidays, I’m going to watch for sure! What a cool tour to take…and for them to let you actually touch things and sit down is a marvel!

    I love it that you’re able to get out on all these various tours and report back to those of us who are stuck at home afraid to fly. It’s so much fun to be a part of it all!

    I”m a little bewildered by the Mom’s hairdo. Seems to me like that was more of an 80s thing. Maybe there’s an explanation for it in the movie that I just don’t know about.

    Thanks for sharing this, and thanks again for hosting Tablescape Thursday!

  30. Diane Westbrook says:

    Hi….love this post and all of the previous ones on the “Christmas Story” house! I have not watched the movie for quite a few years and now I cannot wait to see it again. Your post and photos bring back so many great memories…I went to school in a building so similar and now it has been converted to Condo’s. We had a radio like that in our living room and it sat in a corner. My Mother heard me screaming one night..must have been around 4 or so…and I was behind the radio. She told me I had had a nightmare, but she could not figure out how I got myself behind that radio! Wringer washers…oh, yes…still remember the feeling of getting an arm caught in it….I also remember having a bar of soap put in my mouth, but do not remember what I said! Milk in glass bottles being left on the porch…however, in winter if you did not bring them in fast enough, the milk would freeze and pop up out of the top….cream was always on the top of the milk and Mom would spoon it out first. When I married in the late 50″s, my Grandparents gave us a bedspread similar to the one in the parent’s bedroom. They were very popular and the pattern was called “Martha Washington”. In the renovated house…is the dining room much the same? I did notice that the house to the right is now gone, as others have mentioned. Wonder what happened. And…yes, they should have painted the cabinet in the kitchen cream with green trim! You do look so cute under the sink!

  31. Great tour- loved it.

    They painted it wrong because they probably thought it was turqoise…..seriously my husband would have, he can never tell the difference in colors…………….they should change it, I bet it was a judgement error.

    When I was first married we lived in a “house that time forgot.” Push button light switches on the walls. A sink just like that one. A fridge more rounded and shorter but similar…..those weird outside of cabinets clasps, and ZERO counter space. I cringe just thinking of those years, hated it lol. But sure does create Life As It Were.

    Thanks Susan, and thanks for hosting. Nice to join in today.

  32. PS

    My mother would ONLY use Oxydol. Ever. Never saw her use anything else, though the box was the 70s green not 40s gold or whatever. : – )

  33. Oh that looked like a lot of fun! I have to confess I haven’t ever watched the movie but I am going to have to now! You looked like you were a having a blast! That’s great!

  34. I smiled reading this whole thing!! 🙂 franki

  35. Susan, I love this fun post! I grew up in the Cleveland area and remember my mothers kitchen as being very much like this one. The stove and the refrigerator, the cabinets, and the furniture all remind me of my childhood home. Going to Higbee’s Department Store and seeing all of the fabulous Christmas decor was a tradition in our family (along with visiting Halle’s seventh floor down the street from Higbee’s). The Christmas parades were exactly as depicted in the movie. I have to watch this movie at least once during the holiday season. Good times, good memories.

  36. Thanks for the great tour! Looks like you had a lot of fun! I love looking at all the accessories in the background. I have that exact same shelf that is displayed in the kitchen as well as the dish towel hanging on it! You look so cute like a little child under the sink! You should do more posts like this one…it was fun!

    • Thanks, Julia! I had so much on my visit…laughing the whole time. The other couple that was touring were laughing and having a blast, too. That house does that to you. 🙂

  37. Such a great tour, brings back so many memories. How fun to be able to visit this piece of history. This movie is the favorites of so many people at Christmas. My, how kitchens have changed. Thanks for sharing this great gem and hosting.

  38. I was never a huge fan of the movie when I first saw it, but I’ve seen it several times since, and it’s really grown on me! I had never noticed that the dishes were Fiestaware. That’s cool! Obviously the design has staying power!

  39. bobbi duncan says:

    One of the best parts of reading everyone’s post is that I could feel the happiness relayed through their words, as they relived fond memories of happy days gone by.

  40. Susan, I really enjoyed reading this post! I had no idea there was a Christmas Story House- I love it! You got some great pictures! Sharing this on Google+! 🙂

  41. Susan,
    I wish I could have been there too. I really enjoyed your photos depicting your playful humor!
    Ann

  42. You hit on the one thing that bothered me about the whole kitchen setup too. I could NEVER figure out why they painted the small hoosier cabinet that shade of blue, unless it was to match the trim on the wringer washing machine. That’s definitely not the original paint job so, if they were re-painting it anyway, why not paint it the same jadeite green as in the movie? But, I LOVED the rest of the tour. My whole house is sort of a tribute to the 1930’s-40’s and I LOVED looking at all the “stuff”. I have a lot of those items in my kitchen too, a friend even gave me that box of Oxydol for Christmas a few years ago! Thanks so much for sharing your visit. 🙂

    • I know…that color didn’t make sense at all. I agree, I would have tried to get as close to the one in the movie as possible. Your house sounds amazing, Sara! 🙂

  43. penny tinker says:

    hi. i’m not being critical but you seemed to have really enjoyed your tour so i wanted to tell you that the item under the sink is not a cooler but a meat roaster. my mom had one and cooked our thanksgiving turkey in it. which begs the question why didn’t mrs. parker. but then i suppose somehow it would have been necessary to explain it to the audience. i very much enjoyed your article. thank you

    • Thanks, Penny! I changed it in the post so it’s correct now. Appreciate you sharing that…I never would have guessed that’s what it was. I wonder if there was a meat roaster in the movie or if that’s something extra they added to the house. I’ll have to watch the movie this year and keep my eye out for one. If you would like to see any of the other posts I put together about the house or tours of the other rooms, you’ll find links to all those posts here: http://betweennapsontheporch.net/more-movie-house-fun/ Thanks again for that info about the roaster!

  44. Well now, that is certainly one interactive house tour! You are a very good tour guide and an even better sport!

  45. Oh my goodness, I think my grandparents had that exact same refrigerator when I was a very small girl. I remember the shape and that big silver handle!

  46. Sure do agree about the painted cabinet. Looks right out of ASCP palette right now.

    People today are so used to ‘tablescaping,’ I guess, that no one commented that there are way too many dishes stacked up on that table. Look at the movie shot…. They would have had plate, glass, (maybe cup and saucer for the grownups) knife, fork, and spoon. So jarring to see 21st century “more of everything” in a working class kitchen.

    But I bet that little old fragile toaster made better toast than the last three half-wit (I’m beingpolitehere)toasters I’ve bought since they stopped making them in America.

  47. Patricia says:

    I loved this tour, thank you! One of our families favorite movies! Your post helps me understand the bones of our kitchen, as well. Tiny, no room for counters, etc. I guess it’s all a matter of aligning current perceptions of what a room should be with what it was meant to be. I will rethinking in this space for sure!
    I don’t think that’s the original movie cupboard. Besides the color, the legs are different, and since they help frame the piece, I think that’s the biggest clue, also the original door looks like it may have had fret-work, and the hinges look wrought iron, not brass. I can’t tell if the motifs were raised on not on the original.
    Love your site, thank you!

  48. Susan, that kitchen brings back memories. The glassware shown came out of the Oxadol detergent boxes or oatmeal. I still have my steak knives and use them all the time. I think washcloths came in some boxes. Our wringer washer and refrigerator were Kenmore and probably ordered from a Sears catalog. We had an undecorated enamel table like that without the decorations as a second table in the kitchen. Mom’s wood stove was not that fancy. Our Hoosier cabinet was white and seemed bigger. When you open one door, a flour sifter was inside. Cakes and pies were made on it. I don’t remember if the table part pulled out more. Missing is the ‘pie safe’ with pressed tin doors for dishes. Didn’t have wainscoting. It seems like we never assumed ordinary kitchen items were worthwhile or would become antiques. I did manage to save some Herringbone and Iris glassware. Anyone remember the hand cranked mixer and the meat grinder that clamped onto the table ? Spring involved the smell of newly plowed fields and daffodils, forsythia and lilac bushes.
    Thanks for sharing.

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