Tonawanda News

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December 14, 2013

A classic reunion ahead of 'A Christmas Story'


Tonawanda News — “We appreciate that they appreciated something we did,” Schwartz said. “They are thousands of movies that are thrown up on the wall, and there are fans all over the place that go to great lengths for us. We try to give that back to the fans.”

On Friday, ahead of the big day, the cast members reunited — as they often do for screening events during the holiday season — and talked about memories from the film. Schwartz remembered that it was freezing outside, and that filming outdoors wasn’t so fun, while Anaya said his favorite part of being in the film was flying first class as a kid. 

Most of the cast members are no longer full-time actors and said they go unrecognized when they’re out and about. Although that allows the cast to go out in public without being interrupted for autographs or questions, Petrella noted that fame has its advantages.

He joked about going to the movies with Ward, who has appeared in more than 100 TV shows and films since the 1983 movie. While Petrella had to pay for his popcorn and pop, Ward got his for free — just because the theater employee recognized him.

“Zack introduced me as the younger brother in ‘A Christmas Story’ ... so then I go, ‘ahem.’ And literally, the guy looks at me and says ‘you already paid.’ That’s one of those things ... I could have saved 22 bucks that day,” Petrella laughed.

Today’s event is expected to sell out, but tickets are available online at or at the box office.

Cast members will take part in a parade before the screening beginning at 11 a.m. today on Broad Street in the City of Tonawanda and will include the original fire truck from the movie, before heading over to the Riviera Theatre at 1 p.m. for a two-hour question and answer session, followed by a 3 p.m. screening of “A Christmas Story.” Rides on the fire truck will also be available for a small donation.

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