Special to 1812Blockhouse

A new four-and-a-half hour guided Shawshank Bus Tours is now offered now throughout filming sites for what IMDB ranks as the No. 1 Movie of all time, The Shawshank Redemption, which was shot almost entirely in Richland County.

Offered at 10 AM on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with some added at noon on Sundays, the tours are available now through September 3 and take place on a gorgeous new wheelchair accessible tour bus wrapped with bold images from The Shawshank Redemption movie and attractions.

Offered rain or shine to guests 13 and over, this guided bus tour features fascinating stories and a visit to 10 key filming spots from around the county, including:

  • Pugh Cabin at Malabar Farm State Park where the opening scenes were filmed.
  • The Bissman Building, which represented the Brewer Hotel where Brooks, played by James Whitmore, stayed and hanged himself soon after being paroled from the Shawshank Prison. The building was also utilized in the film as the front office of the Portland Daily Bugle. Attendees are encouraged to look south toward the City Mills Building at the corner of Fifth and Main Streets where Brooks, suitcase in hand, tried desperately to cross 5th Street on his way to the Brewer Hotel.
  • Mansfield Antiques Gallery in the Historic Carrousel District, which represented the pawn shop window where Red spots the compass that will lead him to the Oak Tree.
  • Central Park in downtown Mansfield, where Brooks sat in Central Park to feed the birds, hoping his pet crow, Jake, will show up to say hello.
  • KV Mart, which represented the Food-Way Grocery Store where both Brooks and Red worked bagging groceries as they struggle to adjust to life on the outside. In a well-known movie continuity blunder, crews failed to remove a 1994 Ohio Lottery sign that clued eagle-eyed moviegoers that the film wasn’t shot in Maine or in the 1940s.
  • The tour replicates Red’s Road to Buxton Trailways bus ride on SR 95 and Hagerman Road in Butler, Ohio after being released from the Shawshank Prison
  • The group will visit the spot where Red got out of the red pickup truck and the site of the Shawshank Oak Tree where Morgan Freeman’s character walked along a hayfield and removed stones from a rock wall where Andy left a letter pointing him to paradise.
  • The Renaissance Theatre in downtown Mansfield where the movie premiered in 1994.
  • Another stop allows guests to explore another fascinating Mansfield Hollywood connection at Malabar Farm State Park. The 900-acre country estate was home to Pulitzer Prize-winning author, farmer, and conservationist, Louis Bromfield. The estate was also the wedding location of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and a frequent hideaway for a number of stars during Hollywood’s heyday in the 1940s and 50s.

The final stop on the tour includes a full 90-minute Hollywood Meets History walking tour of the Ohio State Reformatory, which starred as Shawshank Prison. The prison’s most comprehensive tour, attendees will explore the reformatory’s historical prison timeline along with iconic spots, including the warden’s living quarters. Guests will check out the new Shawshank Museum and learn about the building’s important architecture, how it was saved from the wrecking ball and about other films and music videos shot on site.

A destination unlike any other, Mansfield offers unusual travel adventures and experiences, such as spending the night in a haunted former state prison where Hollywood blockbuster movies are shot, world-class motorsports, skiing, hiking, biking, golf, and loads of other outdoor adventures attract families and visitors of all ages. Complete visitor information and free visitor guides are available at DestinationMansfield.com or by calling (800) 642-8282.

Source, Photo: Destination Mansfield – Richland County

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