While the classic movie The Shawshank Redemption takes place in New England, the film was actually shot just a little over two and a half hours away in Mansfield, Ohio. This month, the small city located between Cleveland and Columbus will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movie’s release with the largest assembly of the movie’s cast and crew since its filming.
The prison drama set in the 1940s chronicles the experiences of banker and protagonist Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins), following his life when he becomes a prisoner after he's wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. Morgan Freeman plays Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding, who befriends Andy in the prison and narrates the story.
The film was a box office flop when it was released in 1994, only grossing a little over $28 million domestically, but nearly tripled that with video rental sales, which amounted to $80 million. Today, IMDb (International Movie Database) ranks The Shawshank Redemption as the No. 1 rated movie out of 250 films with a 9.2 rating. The screenplay is based on Stephen King's novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.
Other actors from the film including Bob Gunton (Warden Norton), Gil Bellows (Thomas Williams), Mark Rolston (Bogs), Renee Blaine (Linda Dufresne), Frank Medrano (Fat Ass), Alfonso Freeman (Fresh Fish Con), and Scott Mann (Glenn Quentin) will be on hand to meet fans from August 16th through the 18th for the three-day celebration of the movie’s anniversary. Director, screenwriter and producer Frank Darabont will be there as well.
The festivities will take place at more than a dozen original film sites in and around Mansfield with tours and events throughout the entire weekend. The Ohio State Reformatory, which starred in the film as Shawshank State Prison, offers a Hollywood Prison Tour for $25. Guests can explore Warden Norton’s office, cell blocks, the woodshop, the tunnel Andy used to escape the prison, and more. You can also explore the self-guided Shawshank Trail that links all the filming locations.
Listed on the Travel Channel's “101 Things to Do Before You Die,” the historic Ohio State Reformatory prison is known for its paranormal activity and as the filming location for several music videos and four other major motion pictures. It offers the film tour, ghost walks, and a variety of other events throughout the year.
The Shawshank Redemption 25th Anniversary Celebration will include showing the film at the historic Renaissance Theatre (where the movie premiered in 1994), autographs by the film’s actors at the Ohio State Reformatory, the Exclusive Shawshank Reception cocktail party, and the annual Shawshank Hustle 7K family fun run. Some of the events do require tickets, and special anniversary souvenirs will be available for purchase.
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Learn more about The Shawshank Redemption 25th Anniversary and get your tickets and itinerary to the three-day celebration August 16-18 here.
You can also plan a group tour of the film sites in Mansfield any time between April 1 through September 1.