The Cleveland, Ohio, home where movie watchers first saw Ralphie Parker begrudgingly wear a pink bunny onesie has hit the market.
But it’s not just the house that went up on the market — the home is part of a package deal that features the entire A Christmas Story campus, including the neighbouring Bumpus house, a museum and an exact replica of the 1939 Ford LaFrance firetruck that was used in the film.
“I’m looking for the right buyer,” owner Brian Jones, 47, told NBC affiliate WKYC of Cleveland. “It’s something you not only own but that you have to take care of.”
Jones told NBC that he’s been obsessed with the film for most of his life. Years ago, he learned that his eyesight would impede his ability to become a Navy pilot and, to lift his spirits, his parents sent him a leg lamp similar to the “Major Award” Old Man Parker displayed in the home.
He began producing his own leg lamp replicas and a year later his wife emailed him to tell him that the Cleveland home was on the market. He bought the home in 2004 for US$150,000.
This time around, it’s not expected to be such a bargain.
Although there’s no minimum price listed for the house and surrounding properties, realtor Chad Whitmer told WKSU that he expects offers in the eight-figure range.
People can apply to buy the house, but an automated response fires back, saying “there is no list price for this opportunity. We are simply putting it out there and letting the market decide.”
Interested buyers are then asked to “make an offer” and hand over information about themselves, their background, their wealth and source of funds for purchase, and a “theme” essay titled: Why I want to buy A Christmas Story House & Museum.
The home was built in 1895 and nearly demolished before Jones purchased it and spent years restoring it to its movie-worthy splendour.
“Obviously, a new owner can do what they like, as with anything,” Whitmer told WKSU. “But given what this is and the price it’s going to sell for, it would be hard to believe someone would spend that kind of money and turn it back into a residence.”
Whoever buys the home could have a real money-making business on their hands. It’s the fourth-most popular tourist attraction in Cleveland, according to TripAdvisor, and has close to 100,000 visitors each year.
“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 listing states.
According to People, Jones also recently began renting out rooms in both the Christmas Story House and Bumpus House. Rates to rent the private third-floor loft of the main home start at $525 per night, or people can rent either the Hound Dog Haven or Stolen Turkey suites in the Bumpus House (sorry, no hound dogs included or allowed) starting at $195 per night.
The rental and sale of the house come just days ahead of HBO Max’s release of a sequel to A Christmas Story, titled A Christmas Story Christmas.
People reports that Peter Billingsley will reprise his role as Ralphie Parker, but instead of being the Red Ryder air rifle-toting kid he once was, this time he is a grown-up father of two who returns to his childhood home after the death of his father.
A Christmas Story Christmas will release on HBO Max Nov. 17. No Canadian streaming date has been announced at this time.
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