Monday, June 1, 2009

Electric Sex in the Window--A Major Award

Fans of Bob Clark's 1983 film A Christmas Story should recognize where I went this past weekend.

Michelle and the girls went to Washington DC, so Matt came down from Ann Arbor and we headed to Cleveland for the day on Saturday. If you did not already guess where I was this past weekend, our main destination was the recently-opened A Christmas Story House and Museum in beautiful and scenic Cleveland, Ohio.

The majority of the exterior scenes of A Christmas Story were all shot on location in Cleveland and St. Catherines, Ontario, while the interior scenes were shot on a sound stage near Toronto, Canada, with a few exceptions, such as the Higbee's Department Store scenes, and the leg lamp scenes (delivering and uncrating the major award, interior shots looking out onto the street, and from the street into the living room).

While some of the interior scenes shot on location make use of the family living room, kitchen and entry way, the floor plan of the house was not the same as on the sound stage and when the house was remodeled for use as a touristic destination and museum, it required extensive repair and modifications to look as it does today. For example, there was a bed room where the staircase is now located, and all the wood floors on the main level had rotted out and there were vermin living out their own Christmas story in the house. The reconstruction of the interior of the house carefully used production stills as a guide and there are numerous reproductions of properties in their appropriate locations. The vintage radio even loops the Little Orphan Annie Show!
Our docent informed us that, originally, each room was open to the public; but, folks kept eating the Lifebuoy Soap. Now, the bathroom is cordoned off.
Across the street from the house, the museum holds original costumes and props from the production. NC


Sarah C. said...

That is fantastic. I had no idea the movie was filmed even somewhat on location. That looks like it was completely worth the trip.

JJ said...

Very fun. I'm bummed you couldn't try the lifeboy soap. Maunia is getting ready to audition for a theater class and one of the monologues she was considering was the internal debate between the science/curiosity involved in sticking one's tongue to a flagpole which of course reminded me of...

Nathan Crook said...

The house and museum are well worth the trip, Sarah. In addition to daytime guests throughout the year, this past year, a Christmas eve-Christmas day stay was auctioned off. Think about waking up on Christmas morning in Ralphie and Randy's house!

Jenn, I could have tried the Lifebuoy Soap--It's available is single-bar packages at the museum gift shop--I opted for a stop at the Westside Market and a local restaurant instead. To tell the truth, I never really developed a taste for bar soap.