Ralphie and entire cast came home for 40th Anniversary of ‘A Christmas Story’ and Behind the Camera Exclusive

Cleveland, OH – November 21, 2023 – The Greater Cleveland Film Commission (GCFC) transported fans back in time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the timeless holiday classic, A Christmas Story, during an unforgettable gathering entitled Behind the Camera: Ralphie Comes Home.

Drawing over 2,000 fans from across the country, this recent weekend was described as “an enchanting affair dedicated to revisiting the cherished film that has warmed the hearts of countless generations during the holiday season.”

Behind the Camera Panel at Cleveland Public Music Hall. Photo by Gabe Wasylko

Devotees of the film had the extraordinary opportunity to connect with some of the creative minds behind the movie, including Peter Billingsley, the renowned actor famous for his portrayal of the endearing Ralphie.

“I’m so grateful to the Greater Cleveland Film Commission and the City of Cleveland for hosting such a fun and nostalgic event,” said Peter Billingsley. “It’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years since a small movie crew rolled into the city. From Higbees to downtown, and of course, ‘Good old Cleveland Street,’ the city and the fans have embraced A Christmas Story and made its enduring success possible.”

As attendees gathered, they walked the Cast Expo, an immersive experience where they could savor personal anecdotes from those involved in the film’s creation, obtain coveted autographs, and capture photographs. The event’s highlight was the Behind the Camera Panel held on Friday evening, hosted by TODAY’s Al Roker. This panel offered fans a unique and captivating glimpse into the meticulous craft that birthed this cinematic masterpiece.

This event didn’t stop at the silver screen. It also featured an array of exclusive merchandise, a captivating tour of iconic Cleveland Film locations, the lighthearted charm of the Cleveland Funny Bus Comedy City Tour, and an opportunity for fans to step into the shoes of their beloved characters by recreating iconic scenes from the film using the innovative SetJetters app.

“The Greater Cleveland Film Commission is grateful to the thousands of attendees from 30 states and Canada for their support of Behind the Camera: Ralphie Comes Home, the 40th anniversary cast reunion,” said Bill Garvey, president of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission. “A Christmas Story exemplifies the power of one movie to attract lasting economic investment and job creation for Northeast Ohio. Over the 14-year lifetime of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit, the motion picture industry has generated $1.38 billion in Ohio. This recent fundraiser helps the film commission’s mission to grow the number of local high-paying jobs and investment into local small businesses in the NE Ohio motion picture industry.”

The GCFC, the driving force behind this remarkable celebration, expressed their heartfelt gratitude towards the event’s generous sponsors, whose unwavering support made this enchanting experience possible, showcasing the power of collaboration and community in bringing beloved cinematic treasures back to life.

About the Greater Cleveland Film Commission: The Greater Cleveland Film Commission (GCFC) is the only 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to driving economic development and job creation by cultivating a robust film and television industry in Northeast Ohio. Since 2009, media projects in Ohio have generated over $1.38 billion in economic impact and created 7,092 full-time equivalent jobs. More than 70% of Ohio’s film tax incentive spending occurs in Greater Cleveland, thanks to our work. Please check out www.clevelandfilm.com for more information.