A New Jersey Mall Built an Amazing A Christmas Story Display for Santa Photos

When you’re around 10 years old, you do everything you possibly can to avoid the Santa Claus display at your local mall. But not if you live in Cherry Hill, NJ, because the mall there built a Santa display that’s a perfect miniature replica of Ralphie Parker’s house from A Christmas Story—leg lamp and all.


The film wasn’t exactly a massive hit when first released back in 1983, but A Christmas Story has since become one of the, if not the most popular Christmas movies year after year. So Cherry Hill Mall hired Parker 3D, a local exhibits maker, to design and build this epic backdrop that almost certainly has even adults lining up to get a photo with Santa.

Instagrammer @Sexyarmpit posted a walkaround video of the setup, which includes the Parker’s living room with glowing leg lamp in the window, the spiral slide from the department store scene, and even the giant wooden crate labeled “fra-geel-ay.” (Must be Italian.) The attention to detail will please even passing A Christmas Story fans, and I’m sorely tempted to fly to New Jersey this weekend to have my wedding photos reshot.

[Instagram @Sexyarmpit]



Fun facts:

The movie is based on two books of short stories by humorist Jean Shepherd (1921-1999): In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, and Wanda Hickey’s Night Of Golden Memories. The Red Ryder BB gun bit was one of the stories (“Duel in the Snow, or Red Ryder Nails the Cleveland Street Kid”), as were some of the other episodes in the movie like the Scut Farkus Affair, and the frozen tongue flagpole.

Jean Shepherd narrates the movie himself, and appears as the man at the front of the Santa line in the store.

Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie, went on to a career as a respected producer; he ex-produced the first Iron Man movie.

Someone bought the house used for the exterior shots of Ralphie’s home, and remodeled it to resemble the interior movie set. You can tour it, or spend the night; Christmas Eve costs $2K.

Jean Shepherd was a well-known radio personality, most notably on station WOR in New York City. He filled his late-night talk show with stories like the ones in the movie, entrancing audiences. I listened often from my home near DC with a transistor radio under my pillow. I’d stumble through the next day at school half dead from being up half the night with Shep.