Nightly News   |  December 21, 2013

‘A Christmas Story’ turns 30

It’s been three decades since this Christmas classic was released.  See what the cast looks like now. NBC’s Kevin Tibbles reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> before we go tonight, many of us have a cherished childhood memory of receiving that one christmas gift you absolutely yearn for and spent countless hours dreaming of, and that's probably why a little film about a little boy and the air rifle he had to have has endured and become a christmas classic. tonight kevin tittles takes us to the home where "a christmas story " comes to life every day.

>> reporter: this time of year they line up down the street to visit this sweet old house in cleveland, ohio.

>> i've been bugging him to go for weeks.

>> reporter: and i double dog dare you to get through the holidays without seeing it at least once on the tv.

>> the star is crooked.

>> that star is perfectly straight.

>> reporter: "a christmas story " was filmed here and released 30 years ago.

>> it cannot be christmas without "a christmas story ."

>> reporter: how many times have you seen the film?

>> probably 50.

>> reporter: set in homan where tongues freeze to poles, snow men are giant marshmallos.

>> i can't feel my arms.

>> and bullies lurk in alley ways.

>> reporter: where a lamp is shaped like a leg.

>> fabulous glory.

>> reporter: where everybody will hear ralphy parker is constantly warned --

>> you'll shoot your eye out, kid.

>> it captures the essence of what christmas is. the family chaos, the food, the presents.

>> i was ral if i.

>> reporter: you were ralphy.

>> brian jones loved it so much he bought the house and turned it into a museum.

>> i think everybody can relate. it's christmas from a kid's perspective.

>> yeah!

>> reporter: to mark the 30th anniversary , a giant leg lamp glows high in the cleveland sky, and the christmas story convention brings them out in all shapes and sizes. it's also brought a couple of grownup actors.

>> we have 5-year-olds and 10-year-olds who all identify with the movie.

>> ian played little brother randy in the snow suit.

>> you had this scarf wrapped around you. you felt like an astronaut.

>> for everyone else it's a christmas classic that keeps on giving.

>> every year on christmas eve we watch it.

>> ho ho ho .

>> reporter: times may change but a kid's wonderment is forever.