For those who celebrate Christmas, they often have particular family traditions. Decorating the Christmas tree. Opening one present on Christmas Eve. A special dinner menu.
For some people, watching the 1983 film, A Christmas Story, over and over and over is an annual tradition, thanks to TV channels like TBS airing it for 24 hours straight on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
“Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), who spends most of his time dodging a bully (Zack Ward) and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad (Darren McGavin) but comforted by his doting mother (Melinda Dillon), Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact.” (Rotten Tomatoes).
The outdoor shots of the house where the Parker family lives is an actual home, an 1895 Victorian, in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, OH. Twenty-one years after the film was released, entrepreneur Brian M. Jones, a native of San Diego, bought the house on eBay for $150,000 (he used revenue from his business, The Red Rider Leg Lamp Company, for the down payment). Following a massive renovation to restore it to its original movie splendor, the House started public tours in November 2006.
The Christmas Story House has since expanded into an entire complex that now includes the original house itself, as well as the house owned by the Bumpuses (the fictional home to Ralphie’s hillbilly neighbors, the Bumpuses, and their 785 smelly hound dogs. The Bumpus Hounds are famous for harassing Ralphie’s Old Man and stealing the Christmas turkey), and a house across the street that acts as a museum and gift shop dedicated to the film.
Joe and I visited the A Christmas Story House in 2011. It’s VERY cool, if you’re a fan of the movie. The inside has been restored to look like the Parkers’ living room, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms, so there are photo ops galore.
Anyway, the complex has done very well for itself. It’s a top tourism draw in Cleveland (it ranks 4th on Trip Advisor, just behind the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Museum of Art and West Side Market), with close to a million visitors over the past 16 years.
And now it’s for sale.
According to the listing, “You’re looking at pretty much the most natural, holiday themed house and museum in the world. And now, it can be all yours. Wall-to-wall anecdotes throughout, this lovely classic is both spacious and intimate. Nostalgically upgraded with somewhat ancient appliances, you’ll be sure to be the talk of town when you own this world-famous house and museum based on a beloved Christmas classic film. The gem of the lot is the main house, located in Cleveland, Ohio at 3159 W. 11th street, 44109.
“Just one hop, one skip and one jump away is The Museum,” the listing continues. “Like the name implies, The Museum features the largest collection of original costumes, props, behind-the scenes photos and other items from the movie. The detached garage is home to a 1939 Ford LaFrance firetruck (just like the one featured in the film!).
“When we say all this can be yours, we’re serious. The entire campus is for sale, which spans a total of 1.3 acres including five buildings on seven parcels. Additionally, there are two public and one private parking lots, and two empty lots which create room for further expansion.”
According to Chad Whitmer with Hoff & Leigh Commercial Real Estate, “It’s just the right time. They’ve done a lot of work here. They’ve turned this into something special. It’s a family that owns it and they’re just looking for new opportunities to move on and they’re hoping somebody comes along takes this, creates it, and turns it into something even more special, and makes it an even greater destination for people visiting Cleveland.”
No price is listed for the complex; the listing says to contact the listing agent for additional questions or more information.
The listing comes just days before HBO Max releases a sequel to the film.
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