June 27, 2016

Mostly sunny

Museum to bring Christmas presence to Medina County

A Hinckley sculptor and his wife are buying the empty Methodist Church and plan to open a museum and entertainment center in Medina featuring memorabilia from Hollywood’s many Christmas films.

Mark and Dana Klaus — yes, that’s their last name — along with officials of the city, Main Street Medina and the Medina Chamber of Commerce, are planning to unveil plans for the “Holly”wood Christmas Movieland at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the former church, 260 S. Court St.

Mark and Dana Klaus plan to open the "Holly"wood Christmas Movieland in Medina, displaying hundreds of Christmas movie photos and props. Pictured, props and costumes from "Elf." (PHOTO FROM THE KLAUS' WEBSITE)

The building — a block south of Public Square — has been vacant since April 2012 when Medina United Methodist Church moved to its new home at 4747 Foote Road in Medina Township.

Mark Klaus could not be reached for comment Tuesday and officials are keeping mum on the project until Friday’s news conference.

Matt Wiederhold, executive director of Main Street Medina, the nonprofit dedicated to promoting the city’s downtown, confirmed the Klauses were buying the building but provided few details.

He said there will be a “soft opening” with a preview of the attraction at the Medina International Festival on Aug. 24, with a grand opening Nov. 22 to coincide with the city’s Candlelight Walk.

Mayor Dennis Hanwell also declined to discuss specifics.

“What they’re doing is trying to build a little anticipation,” he said. “I don’t want to give away the surprise.”

But considerable information about the project can be found at the Klauses’ website, www.christmasmovieland.com, and on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HollywoodChristmasMovieland.

The website states: “Mark and Dana Klaus have a permanent location for ‘Holly’wood Christmas Movieland in Medina, Ohio. 31,000 square feet of attractions!”

The Klaus family had opened a temporary Christmas Movieland museum in Brecksville in 2008. The museum featured hundreds of Christmas movie photos, props including the sleigh and reindeer from the opening scene of “Miracle on 34th Street,” the Turbo Man costume from “Jingle All the Way,” and props and costumes from “The Santa Clause” and “Elf,” according to a video featured on the website.

The Klauses’ Facebook page promises the new year-round center in Medina will be “America’s largest Christmas indoor walk-thru, entertainment attraction.”

Among the features will be the Klauses’ collection of Hollywood Christmas movie props and costumes, along with an “I Had That” toy display and Christmas window displays from New York City’s Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales and Macy’s.

Klaus brought Cousin Eddie’s dilapidated recreation vehicle from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” to the Medina Fourth of July parade and the Brunswick Summer Celebration parade Sunday to promote the opening.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.