Mansfield, Ohio has something big to celebrate! Twenty years ago, on September 13, 1994, Mansfield’s Renaissance Theatre premiered the new movie, The Shawshank Redemption.
Much of the movie was filmed in Mansfield and the surrounding area, using extras from the local community. My husband was hired for one of the opening scenes as inmates flood the prison yard. After pacing back and forth all day, dressed as a criminal in ill-fitting shoes, he decided Hollywood wasn’t the profession for him, but no one can argue that it wasn’t a pretty cool experience.
The Shawshank prison in the movie is the Mansfield Reformatory, former state prison, turned historic site. The prison is open for tours from April 1st to September 1st. A dozen more film sites in the Mansfield area make up the Shawshank Trail, a do-it-yourself driving tour.
Movie buffs can celebrate the 20th anniversary of the movie in Mansfield with festivities and special events over Labor Day Weekend, August 29-31st.
During the Holiday weekend all filming locations have special events and tours- many are free. Friday and Saturday, Actor Scott Mann (Linda Dufresne’s lover) can be found at the Pugh Cabin- the opening scene of the movie. In Ashland at the Crosby Advisory Group, LLC (the Maine National Bank in the film) the bank manager of the movie, Jim Kasicki, will be signing autographs as well. Souvenirs and commemorative T-shirts will be available at all sites.
For those who would enjoy seeing the movie, The Renaissance Theatre is showing the film on Friday evening ($10, at 7pm). For a memorable Saturday evening on the town, Cocktails at the Reformatory (7:30, $50) offers live jazz, hors d’oeuvres, tours.
On Sunday morning well known author and speaker, Kary Oberbrunner will present a unique 30-minute program at the Shawshank Church, at the Mansfield Reformatory.