To mark the anniversary of one of the greatest movies ever made, Mansfield’s historic Ohio State Reformatory, where The Shawshank Redemption was filmed, will host a series of special public events, until September 1.
This weekend there will be a cocktail party in the central guard room, with a live jazz band, and hors d’oeuvres, plus a chance to visit the prison’s church, Brooks’ room, the warden’s office, the parole board office and cells.
Ohio State Reformatory’s moody Gothic, Romanesque and Chateauesque structure was first opened to 150 young offenders in 1896 and housed more than 155,000 thereafter, until it was closed in 1990, due to a prisoners’ class action suit citing overcrowding and inhumane conditions.
Nowadays, the state reformatory is a tourist attraction, and regular movie tours take place in the prison and at 14 sites around Ohio’s town. Local guides take film fans to the hallway house where Brookes was put after his release from jail, to the old oak tree where Andy hid money for Red, plus the courthouse where Andy was convicted, and the road Red walked to Buxton and Brooks bench where he waited for Jake (his pet bird). Those who can’t make the anniversary tour this weekend can book onto the regular tours at any time of year.