A Christmas Story | Film Locations
ralphie parker’s (peter billingsley) tireless quest to get the red ryder BB gun (with a compass on the stock and “that thing that tells the time”) for christmas has become a seasonal staple in the US, although it remains comparatively unknown in the UK.
darren mcgavin is so right as ralphie’s father, it’s strange to remember that jack nicholson was in the picture to play the father. I can’t help but feel like the audience would have been restlessly waiting for Jack to bring an ax to the bathroom door.
The film is developed from the stories of Jean Shepherd (mostly in god we trust, everyone else pays cash), who also narrates as the voice of “grown up” ralphie. The anecdotes are based on the writer’s childhood in Hammond, Indiana, which becomes fiction at ‘Hohman’. the 1940s style of ‘any town’ was found a little further east in cleveland, ohio (although the studio sets and some of the filming were done in toronto, ontario).
The Parker family home is at 3159 West 11th Street in Tremont, just south of downtown. Happily, the famous house has not only been restored to how it looks in the movie, it’s open for tours, and across the street you’ll find the Christmas Story House Museum.
Higbee’s in ‘Downtown Hohman,’ the department store where Ralphie first saw the legendary gun in the window, was the real deal, in Cleveland’s Public Square. And, yes, Santa Claus and his slide, with the line of children “stretching down to Terre Haute,” were filmed inside the store. higbee’s was later absorbed and eventually closed its doors in 2002.
It’s still called higbee’s, but the first three floors now house offices and its silver grille restaurant on the 10th floor is available for special events. See it at South Roadway and Ontario Street, on the south corner of Cleveland Public Square. did you recognize the same square disguised as ‘stuttgart, germany’, where loki commands the crowd to kneel before him in avengers (avengers assemble)?
‘warren g harding school’, however, where ralphie’s classmate flick makes his tongue freeze on a post, was victoria school in toronto. it has since closed and is now a shelter, at 173 niagara street, st catharine’s.
we’re still in toronto when ralphie uses the word ‘fudge,’ the “queen mother of obscene words,” while helping his dad change a tire at the south end of the cherry street bridge, cherry street, in the port lands district southeast of downtown.
and even the ‘bo ling chop suey palace’, where the family enjoys an eccentric christmas dinner after the dogs take away the turkey, is in canada. Although it’s in Toronto’s East Chinatown, it now lives as Batifole French Restaurant, 744 Gerrard Street East.
still looking for that red ryder BB gun? Not only can you get one online, but you can also get an ever-stylish leg lamp, or those bunny suit pajamas, at the Christmas Story House gift shop.