MEDINA, Ohio– The magic of Hollywood is being merged with the miracle of Christmas to create a one-of-a-kind museum.
Castle Noel is being called “America’s Largest Indoor Year-Round Christmas Entertainment Attraction.”
Mark Klaus and his wife, Dana, aren’t just decking the halls; they are gutting the walls inside of an old church located at 260 S. Court Street in Medina, near the square.
“Our whole thing is Christmas in our family, always has been,” said Mark Klaus.
With a surname like “Klaus” and a white beard like Santa, Mark admits this type of work has been his calling his entire life.
He says his grandfather worked hard to make Christmas special during the depression by crafting wallpaper into presents for his children, and Mark’s father also went “all out” for the holiday.
“My dad made our house like a Christmas wonderland,” said Mark.
For years, Mark worked as an extremely successful artist, sculpting and designing Christmas angels and other designs.
All of those life experiences have led him to this moment in time, and to create this new masterpiece in the form of a museum.
“When I realized how happy you could make people, how much joy you could bring people with Christmas memories, I got the bug,” said Mark.
He could’ve built the museum anywhere, but chose Medina for its small-town appeal and Christmas charm, like something from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
“We knew it had to be in a place that would instill memories in people because that’s what it’s really all about.”
Mark gave FOX 8’s Suzanne Stratford an exclusive sneak peek inside the museum which is still under construction, but will be ready in time for the opening on November 22.
Movieland props and costumes from nearly every Christmas classic film will be on display at the museum. Will Ferrell’s familiar green coat and Buddy the elf suit from the movie “Elf” is one of the items.
There is also a life-sized recreation of Jim Carrey’s the Grinch, which was built and modeled by the artist who created the actual costume for the movie.
Everything is authentic down to the Santa Claus hat and coat.
Other notable installations include cousin Eddy’s infamous RV, which will be on display outside so people can get their picture taken near it, and Santa’s sleigh, where kids can be filmed as if they are in an actual movie.
There will also be a Blizzard Vortex and something called Santa’s Squeeze, which is a tunnel that simulates the feeling Santa would get sliding down the chimney.
But perhaps the most spectacular feature is Santa Claus Mountain: A two-story high structure that is an exact replica of the Santa summit and slide seen in the classic movie, “A Christmas Story.”
“We wanted to make sure we created something that was the best picture with Santa you could ever have,” said Mark, “Just like Ralphie.”
There are many interactive experiences and also something for people from every generation.
A toyland section will enable people to relive their childhood by revisiting their favorite Christmas toys.
Also $2 million worth of stunning Christmas window displays from New York City stores like Saks Fifth Avenue have been acquired and will be back on display on the second level.
But Mark says this isn’t just about bringing Hollywood to Medina, but he’s hoping to create a lifetime of special memories for generations of young people.
“This is a full Santa Claus experience,” said Mark. “Every year that will become something special.
CLICK HERE for much more.