Monday, December 14, 2009

Ralphie's House Rocks Cleveland

Put this in the blog category of "ideas I wish I'd come up with."

Five years ago, Brian Jones was selling leg lamps like the one seen in the modern holiday classic A Christmas Story. "Leg lamps were selling much better than I thought they ever wood, Jones told Just My Show earlier this month. "I thought it was just gonna be like a side business little hobby." So when he saw the Cleveland location used as Ralphie's house in the 1983 film go up for sale on eBay, he did what any good fan of the movie would do. He bought it.

"There were obviously times where I thought to myself, 'what have I gotten myself into?' halfway through the project," said Jones. But he stuck with it, restoring the house to A Christmas Story form, and opening it up to the public in November of 2006. His visitors have increased each year since, as has the operation. He now owns another home on the street, which houses a museum and gift shop. This year, you can stop by and see Ralphie's costumes from the movie, which Jones recently purchased.

Several members of the film's cast have stopped by including Just My Show guest Scott Schwartz who played Flick. "I got Ian Patrella, who played Randy-the little brother, to get back underneath the sink and we got a picture of him there," recalls Jones. "I thought that was pretty funny."

This year, Jones is paying tribute to another modern classic by lighting up Ralphie's house like the Griswold's in honor of the 20th anniversary of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. To hear his comments on that, listen to Just My Show's new holiday podcast, which features an interview with Christmas Vacation's Beverly D'Angelo.

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