FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information: www.achristmasstoryhouse.com
FIRST “A CHRISTMAS STORY” CONVENTION SET FOR THANKSGIVING WEEKEND
Two-day event to feature actors, “Chinese Turkey” dinner and unveiling
of 1937 Oldsmobile and chalkboard used in the movie;
One “Ralphie Parker” look alike to be chosen for national promotion
Cleveland, Ohio (October 30, 2007) – “A Christmas Story” House & Museum in Tremont, and the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel have announced plans for the first “A Christmas Story” Convention, set for Friday and Saturday, November 23 and 24, 2007.
Original actors from “A Christmas Story” will be on hand to greet fans and sign autographs, including Ian Petrella (Randy), Scott Schwartz (Flick), Zack Ward (Scut Farkus), Yano Anaya (Grover Dill), Tedde Moore (Miss Shields), and Patty Johnson and Drew Hocevar (the two evil elves). The family car used in the film, a 1937 Oldsmobile Touring Sedan, will be debuted, and Moore will host a special unveiling of the chalkboard on which Miss Shields wrote “A ++++” in her classroom.
Daisy Outdoor Products is offering a special incentive for children 10 and older who enter the convention’s character look-alike contest dressed as Ralphie Parker. The makers of the Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun, based in Rogers, Arkansas will choose one winner from the top five “Ralphies” to appear on the packaging of a special edition BB gun, with “a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time” (a sundial) in honor of the “A Christmas Dream” Red Ryder BB gun which was produced in 1983 and used in the movie. Along with the prestige of posing as Ralphie, the winner will receive $100, their very own Red Ryder Range Model Air Rifle and a Leg Lamp. Daisy officials anticipate choosing the winner by early January and conducting the photo shoot in Cleveland in February or March.
The character look-alike contest will be judged by Petrella (“Randy”) and Schwartz (“Flick”). Winners in all character categories will win Leg Lamps and other “major awards.”
Other convention events include a “Chinese Turkey Dinner” with the actors at C&Y Chinese Restaurant, tours of “A Christmas Story” House & Museum, a BB gun shooting range,
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screenings of the movie, and the Cleveland Winterfest parade and fireworks. The Renaissance, which will host most of the convention activities, is offering packages that include deluxe accommodations and buffet breakfast for two, complimentary parking, tickets to “A Christmas Story” House & Museum with free roundtrip trolley transportation, and in-room screenings of the movie. A similar weekend package is available after the Convention through February 3. For more information on the packages, call the Renaissance at 1-800-228-9290 and ask for promotional code H09
A panel discussion will take place on Saturday afternoon with Brian Jones, owner of “A Christmas Story” House & Museum, and filmmakers Deren Abram and Tyler Schwartz. Abram is the producer of ClarkWORLD, a documentary about his long-time friend and mentor, the late Bob Clark, who co-wrote and directed “A Christmas Story.” Schwartz and Jordie Smits, natives of St. Catharines, Ontario, are making a documentary, “Road Trip for Ralphie” which chronicles their quest to visit all of the film’s shooting locations from Cleveland to Canada, including the Victoria School in St. Catharines. A key scene involves the two fans salvaging the chalkboard from Miss Shields’ classroom on the day the building was gutted for remodeling.
The Renaissance will be the site of the character look-alike contest, the chalkboard unveiling, panel discussion and two meet-and-greet sessions with the actors. There is no admission charge for these events. There will be fees for autographs (as determined by the actors), and tickets for the dinner at C&Y are $45 for adults and $22.50 for children. Complete convention details, including how to purchase tickets for the dinner, are available online at www.achristmasstoryhouse.com. Fans can also call the House Thursday-Sunday at 216-298-4919, and Wednesdays beginning November 7 for more information.
Lolly the Trolley is offering round-trip transportation from the Renaissance and Tremont’s Clark Fields to the House on Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24. Trips depart every half hour and round-trip tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children from the Hotel, and $1 (adults and children) from Clark Fields near Clark and W. 7th Str. in Tremont. Executive Director Steve Siedlecki emphasized that parking near the House is very limited and encourages fans to take advantage of the ample parking downtown and at Clark Fields and travel by Trolley.
“A Christmas Story” House & Museum will be open from 10 am to 5 pm on Friday, Nov. 23, 10 am to 8 pm on Saturday, Nov. 24 and noon to 5 pm on Sunday, Nov. 25. Regular admission rates of $7 for adults, $6 for seniors (ages 60+), and $5 for children (ages 7-12) will apply. Children ages 6 and under are admitted for free.
“A Christmas Story” House is the house used as the family home in the 1983 holiday classic film, now shown annually as part of a 24-hour Christmas marathon on TBS. Set in December 1940, the movie follows the trials and tribulations of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker who desperately wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Every adult he encounters, including Santa Claus, rebukes his request with the ominous warning, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” The movie, based on stories from Jean Shepherd’s book, “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash,” stars Peter Billingsley as Ralphie and the late Darren McGavin as the Old Man.
San Diego native Brian Jones purchased the 110-year-old house in 2004 and restored the former duplex to its “movie splendor,” both inside and out. It opened for tours in November 2006 and has welcomed nearly 40,000 guests. The House, with its accompanying Museum and Gift Shop, is open for tours year round Thursdays – Sundays, and Wednesdays – Sundays in November and December. It is located at 3159 W. 11th Street in Cleveland’s historic Tremont district.
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Convention schedule attached (two pages)
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2007
10 AM – 5 PM: Actors from “A Christmas Story” to meet and greet fans and sign autographs at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.
10 AM – 5 PM: “A Christmas Story” House & Museum open with BB gun range in the back yard.
2 PM: Unveiling of the Parker Family Car that caused Ralphie’s “Oh Fudge” incident. Unveiling will take place at “A Christmas Story” House. The car is a 1937 Oldsmobile Touring Sedan.
7 PM: Chinese Turkey Dinner at C&Y Restaurant with the actors.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2007
10 AM: “A Christmas Story” House & Museum opens with extended hours, and BB gun range in the back yard.
10 AM: First Lolly the Trolley trip departs from the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Trolley departs every half hour. Round trip trolley tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children.
10AM: First Lolly the Trolley shuttle departs from Clark Fields. Round trip shuttle tickets are $1 per person.
10AM – 12 NOON: Exclusive actors meet-and-greet session. Open to Renaissance Cleveland Hotel guests only.
12 NOON- 1 PM: Panel discussion: Brian Jones, owner of “A Christmas Story” House & Museum, and filmmakers Deren Abram and Tyler Schwartz. Abram is the producer of ClarkWORLD, a documentary about his long-time friend and mentor, the late Bob Clark, who co-wrote and directed “A Christmas Story.” Schwartz is making a documentary, “Road Trip for Ralphie” which chronicles two fans’ quest to visit all of the film’s shooting locations from Cleveland to Canada.
1 PM – 10 PM: Actors meet-and-greet session in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Open to the general public.
3 PM: Unveiling of the original movie prop chalkboard from Miss Shields’ classroom by Tedde Moore, who played Miss Shields, in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.
4 PM: Character look-a-like contest. Come dressed as your favorite “A Christmas Story” character for a chance to win a Leg Lamp and other prizes. Contest will be judged by “Randy” and “Flick.” The top five children dressed as Ralphie will have their picture submitted to Daisy Outdoor Products for consideration to star as Ralphie on a Daisy Red Ryder BB-gun package for the 25th Anniversary of “A Christmas Story” in 2008. Daisy Outdoor Products will choose the winner in early January and plans a photo shoot in Cleveland in February or March.
5 PM: Last Lolly the Trolley trip departs from “A Christmas Story” House for the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel and Clark Fields. Trolley departs every half hour.
6:30 PM: Winterfest tree-lighting ceremony, parade, and fireworks show. Winterfest events take place in Public Square in front of the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.
8 PM: “A Christmas Story” House & Museum close for the day.
10 PM: Actors meet-and-greet session closes.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2007
12 NOON – 5 PM: “A Christmas Story” House & Museum open.