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’A Christmas Story’ at 30: Now part of the family
The entrepreneur who developed the house as a tourist attraction, Brian Jones, gave Moralevitz a leg lamp seven years ago and it's mounted in a 6-foot outdoor Plexiglas box near the peak of the front roof. People sometimes mistake it for "A Christmas Story" house and stop to visit.
In the neighborhood, "I'm known for the most drive-by shootings (filming)," said Moralevitz, a retired tour guide stepping back into his old role for comic effect.
Like many of the best holiday classics, the risky business turns cheerful at the end. Now families get together at holiday gatherings to watch the movie or crowd theater performances.
"It fills up the seats because it's a family experience," Moore said.
The anniversary of the movie will be marked beyond Cleveland, with versions on stage from Boston to California. The musical has returned to Broadway for another run.
A new bronze statue of the "triple-dog dare" tongue-grabbing flagpole scene is on display in time for the holidays in Hammond, Ind., hometown of Jean Shepherd, whose stories inspired the 1983 movie. One of the boys in the movie takes the dare and gets his tongue stuck on the icy pole. The Hammond reproduction has become a big hit since it was dedicated in October, with families stopping by to take their Christmas card photos.
But mimicking Hollywood might be risky, according to Nicki Mackowski with the tourist agency in Hammond.
"We're working on putting up signs as the cold weather gets here. You know: 'Lick at your own risk' kind of thing," she said.