June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Hinckley couple announces ‘Holly’wood movie museum

Mark Klaus and his wife, Dana, smile as the new "Holly"wood Christmas Movieland is christened in Medina Friday with fake snow. The museum will open the week after Thanksgiving. (ANDREW DAVIS / GAZETTE)

Snow fell and Christmas cheer filled the air Friday as Hinckley Township sculptor Mark Klaus unveiled the grand plan to put America’s largest year-round indoor Christmas movie museum inside the vacant Medina Methodist Church.

“‘Holly’wood Christmas Movieland will be the most fun Christmas experience you have ever had,” Klaus said.

He and his wife, Dana, searched for three years to find a permanent home for their massive collection of Christmas movie memorabilia.

“Medina was always No. 1,” he said. “There is just so much here already. We are just plugging into something already amazing.”

Klaus credited Main Street Medina and a community where people love to meet and enjoy events on Public Square.

Klaus said there is something magical about driving through downtown Medina during the winter when it is snowing, making the city a quintessential Christmas town and the perfect spot for his museum.

“We are very excited and happy about keeping this building,” Mayor Dennis Hanwell said.

The mayor is a member of the Methodist church, whose congregation built a new building in Medina Township.

Klaus had the idea of a permanent home for his massive collection for 25 years. That’s when he first displayed his movie memorabilia to the public — inside a barn in Hinckley Township.

In 2008, Klaus opened the doors to a temporary Christmas Movieland in Brecksville and featured the sleigh and reindeer from the opening scene of “Miracle on 34th Street” and the Turbo Man costume from “Jingle All the Way,” among other memorabilia.

The 31,000-square-foot former church will house attractions such as a snow vortex, an elf’s workshop, a giant toy playroom and more than $2 million worth of animated New York City Christmas department store window decorations.

A preview will be Aug. 24 during the city’s International Festival. The grand opening will be the weekend of Nov. 22, when the city hosts the annual Candlelight Walk on Public Square.

Klaus is best known for the handcrafted miniature sculptures he sells on HSN, and he has been featured on the magazine covers of Collectors Edition and Collectors Mart.

In the future, Klaus plans to put an Alien-themed, 3-D indoor miniature golf course alongside Christmas Movieland.

For more information, visit Klaus’ website, www.christmasmovieland.com.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell speaks at the announcement of the fall opening Friday of "Holly"wood Christmas Movieland. (ANDREW DAVIS / GAZETTE)