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Downtown's Crest Theater will screen A Christmas Story, the retro comedy classic based on Jean Shepherd's novel, in the third annual Christmas Story at the Crest event Saturday, December 19. Beginning at noon, guests will enjoy several tables of home-baked sweets and hot chocolate in the lobby of the gorgeous art deco theater, while awaiting their turn to meet a real-bearded Santa, available to take gift requests and photos with hopeful children and adults. The film begins at 1 p.m. Ten dollar tickets will benefit Jesuit High School.
For the uniquely uninitiated, A Christmas Story is the campy cult classic about 1940's school kid, Ralphie Parker, who wants nothing more than for Santa to deliver an "Official Red Ryder, Carbine-Action-Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle" on Christmas morning, in spite of all the tyrannical, short-sighted adults who can only obsessively respond "You'll shoot your eye out!"
En route to this goal, of course, hilarity ensues. Ralphie is regularly chased by the neighborhood bully, watches his buddy freeze his tongue to the school flagpole, and has his own mouth washed out with soap (Lifebouy, to be exact) for uttering words he learned from his father, who "wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan."
The film, which airs on television throughout the holiday season, is only seen once a year locally on the big screen, and then at the only local theater with the proper historical street cred to do it justice. The Crest lobby and big theater set the right tone -- a little bit old fashioned, a little bit edgy, a little bit sweet, a little bit tongue-in-cheek.
Tickets can be purchased at the theater box office or online at tickets.com.