When we watch the beloved holiday film, "A Christmas Story," one question that often comes to mind is, "What town is A Christmas Story set in?" The answer is not as straightforward as you might think, and this article will take you on a journey through the various locations that brought this timeless tale to life.
The Fictional Setting: Hohman, Indiana
The movie is primarily set in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana. This quaint Midwestern town serves as the backdrop for the adventures of young Ralphie Parker. However, it’s worth noting that Hohman is actually a disguise for the author Jean Shepherd’s hometown, Hammond, Indiana. Shepherd himself narrated the film and appeared briefly in the Department Store sequence. Hohman also happens to be one of the busiest downtown streets in Hammond, providing the genuine atmosphere of a small, close-knit community.
The Real Locations Behind the Film
While the story takes place in Hohman, Indiana, the movie was filmed in multiple locations, including Cleveland, Ohio and Toronto, Canada. These locations added authenticity to the film’s depiction of a bygone era.
- Higbee’s Department Store: This iconic store, where Ralphie first spots the Red Ryder BB Gun, is a real department store located in Cleveland. The famous "HIGBEE" sign was undeniably visible in the film.
The interiors of the movie were shot in Toronto, while the exteriors were filmed in Cleveland. The former Chop Suey Palace, where the Chinese restaurant scene was set, is now a French restaurant on Gerrard Street East.
The House: A Symbol of the Film
The house that serves as the Parker family home in "A Christmas Story" is another intriguing aspect. While the film is set in a fictitious Indiana town, location scouts were unable to find an exact match in that state. Instead, the house is located on Cleveland Street – a fitting nod to Jean Shepherd’s real hometown.
Revisiting the Movie’s Sequel
The sequel to "A Christmas Story," titled "A Christmas Story 2," was filmed in Vancouver, Canada, capturing the holiday spirit once again but in a different location.
Fun Facts About the Movie
- The flagpole scene in the movie was filmed at the now-closed Victoria School in Ontario, Canada.
- The department store, Higbee’s, plays a central role in the film, where Ralphie first sees the Red Ryder BB Gun in the shop window and later visits to see Santa. It’s one of the most memorable sequences in the movie.
Time Shift: 1940 to the 1970s
The original film is set in 1940, following the adventures of young Ralphie. In a fascinating twist, a newer story in the "A Christmas Story" universe shifts the timeline to the 1970s, with an adult Ralphie returning to his childhood home on Cleveland Street to create a magical Christmas for his own children.
The Magic of "A Christmas Story"
The enduring appeal of "A Christmas Story" lies not only in its heartwarming narrative but also in the choice of real locations and settings. From Hohman, Indiana to Cleveland, Ohio, and Toronto, Canada, these places have become as much a part of the holiday tradition as the film itself.
So, the next time you watch this beloved classic, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for the towns and locations that brought "A Christmas Story" to life.
Real Locations That Brought the Movie to Life
Where was A Christmas Story filmed?
Cleveland, Ohio, and Toronto, Canada, played pivotal roles in bringing "A Christmas Story" to life. Victoria School in St. Catharines, Ontario, took on the role of Warren G. Harding Elementary School in the film, with real students from the school stepping in as extras. An interesting tidbit is that these students received authentic ’40s style haircuts to seamlessly fit the film’s era.
Is A Christmas Story based on a true story?
A Christmas Story draws inspiration from the semi-fictional memoirs of writer Jean Shepherd. Shepherd, who hails from Hammond, Indiana, set his book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana. While the film’s roots lie in Shepherd’s experiences, it’s essential to note that the iconic yellow facade of Ralphie’s house is situated in the Buckeye State, Ohio, rather than Indiana.
Where is Jean Shepherd’s boyhood home based on A Christmas Story?
For devoted fans of A Christmas Story, there’s another hidden gem in Hammond that deserves your attention. It’s none other than the boyhood home of Jean Shepherd, the creative force behind the story. Shepherd’s childhood memories, which inspired the film, were born right here on the iconic Cleveland Street. Yes, you read that right – his actual boyhood home can be found right on Cleveland Street.
When did A Christmas Story start?
The journey of the iconic A Christmas Story and the beloved house it features took a significant turn in the early 1980s. Director Bob Clark initiated a search for the ideal filming location, spanning over 20 cities. This quest marked the beginning of the film’s memorable journey and the transformation of the house and its surrounding area.
Where is the house located from A Christmas Story?
The renowned house featured in the film is situated at 3159 W 11th Street, Cleveland, Ohio. In the process of bringing Jean Shepherd’s stories to life, director Bob Clark dispatched scouts to explore twenty different cities. Ultimately, they chose Cleveland as the prime location for exterior filming.
Where and when is A Christmas Story set?
A Christmas Story is adapted from the delightful vignettes found in Jean Shepherd’s 1966 novel, In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash. The heartwarming and nostalgic tale is set in 1940s-era Indiana, and it follows the adventures of young Ralphie Parker, who harbors a simple wish for a BB gun as his ideal Christmas gift. The film was released in November 1983, capturing the essence of the era.