Films

Shawshank Prison To Open As Tourist Attraction

The Shawshank Redemption is one of the best-loved films of all-time - and now you could visit the actual prison where Red and Andy played out their epic tale.

The Ohio State Reformatory, which was the main location for the 1994 movie's prison, is now being opened for tours. The move came after the prison, which closed as a working building around 25 years ago, had successfully hosted ghost tours, a Halloween and murder mystery festival last year and a Shawshank anniversary celebration last weekend. The roof has now been fixed and plans are afoot to upgrade the rest of the building so that it will be visitable all year round.

The reformatory will be the high point of a 13-stop Shawshank Redemption bus tour which will also include visits to the bench where Brooks (James Whitemore) fed the birds, Malabar Farm State Park where Andy (Tim Robbins) followed his wife and the Bissman building where Brooks and Red (Morgan Freeman) live after they have been released.

The Reformatory was closed in 1990 after 94 years in service, originally as a boys reformatory and latterly as a maximum security prison with six feet thick walls, and was taken over by the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society after they purchased it for $1. Up until now, fans have organised their own tours, but these have carried their own dangers; tour guide Pastor Ron Puff has said that, "To be honest, we don’t have keys for some of these [cell doors]", so don't close them behind you, or you could be doing some time yourself.

The film was directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which was found within the Different Seasons collection and was not a box office success; however, it went on to become one of the biggest selling home entertainment releases of all-time.

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(Images: AllStar)

[via Cinema Blend]