CLEVELAND - The movie "A Christmas Story" was shot in Cleveland in 1983 and was released in time for the holiday season later in the same year.
We Clevelanders are rightfully proud of what is now considered a Christmas classic, but why was Cleveland chosen as the site of the filming? The producers looked at 20 different cities and one of the reasons why it was shot here will not make you very proud.
The story by WEWS Live On Five anchor Don Webster in our video player aired in January 1983. It contains an interview with the film's publicist Janice Kaye.
Kaye says Higbee's was one of the reasons they chose to shoot in Cleveland as they were looking for a store that had a 40s look to it. OK, no insult there.
Then Cleveland's Flats and its ruggedness. OK, we're still good.
"...and the fact that when we shoot the downtown area, there are very few skyscrapers and modern looking buildings and we needed that 40s look," said Kaye. Hey! That's an insult!
Oh well, we got the movie and it was filmed before the BP Building and Key Tower were built.
Webster's story contains some wonderful shots of the old Higbee's store and Public Square with Christmas decorations in January.
We go behind the scenes to see Ralphie and Randy shooting scenes, and killing time on the Higbee's set.
The last shot is Randy none too happy to be on Santa's lap.
Don't shoot your eye out.
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