Zack Ward (aka Scut Farkus) Returns to Cleveland with a Film of His Own


A special report by The Tremonster

Zack Ward (who played Scut Farkus in the film A Christmas Story) visited the film’s Cleveland Street location, A Christmas Story House and Museum, to meet fans and promote his directorial debut, Restoration, showing Sunday, July 10, at the Capitol Theatre in the Gordon Square neighborhood.  The Tremonster caught up with Ward during his appearance.

The Tremonster:  Does Cleveland look any different from the last time you were here?

Ward:  You know it’s kinda interesting…my return to Cleveland Street is for a dual purpose – it’s a cross promotion for A Christmas Story House and Museum, as well as a promotion for my feature film that is landing at the Capitol Theater this Sunday at 4 p.m. – and it is amazing to come back to Cleveland.  I feel like Cleveland’s uncle.  When I shot the Christmas Story film in 1983, Cleveland was a bomb site. I mean, it was a disaster.  It had gone bankrupt, basically.  As a child, we were not allowed – I was 13 – we were not allowed to leave the hotel unaccompanied after 4 p.m. because it was a sea of homelessness.  We were at the Renaissance Hotel…it’s beautiful now, but back then most of the floors were abandoned; the windows were boarded up.  That was the only place to stay.  The reason I say I’m the uncle is because I’m not here with Cleveland every day.  Like an uncle, I visit the kid every once in a while and I notice how much it’s grown.  It’s beautiful.  The city is gorgeous; the people are wonderful.  I’m so happy for them and the Cavaliers – but I’ve got to be honest:  Cleveland made the Cavaliers, the Cavaliers did not make Cleveland.  Cleveland has fought back from the edge of a horrible depression – has created such an amazing infrastructure of work ethic in a city that’s gorgeous.  They’re the ones who created all the financial opportunity to have a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The Cleveland Cavaliers owe everything to Cleveland.  It’s really touching.

The Tremonster:  I’m actually worried I’m going to cry.

Ward:  For me, this is the first feature film I’ve ever directed – I’ve produced three features now.  Coming to Cleveland the whole point was that you know there’s a blossoming film world here in Cleveland and I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk to people who want to become filmmakers, who want to be actors, writers, directors, producers, editors, and have that conversation because Cleveland knows me because I’m Scut Farkus.  I kind of feel like it’s an opportunity for us to exchange information, and I can show Clevelandites how I have grown and perhaps share some of that with them by teaching them what I know…that was my whole concept behind doing this.

The Tremonster:  Your film will actually be debuting at the Capitol Theatre in our sister neighborhood, Gordon Square.  I’m not sure if you’ve seen that neighborhood recently, but –

Ward:  – it’s gorgeous…it’s beautiful! I got lost getting here — which is ridiculous — and then I drove to Gordon Square… I came off the freeway and I was in an area… honestly that’s one of the things I love about Cleveland is the buildings – the architecture, the way the neighborhood’s changed so dramatically.  In four to five blocks I get off the freeway, and I’m looking around like, “This is looking nasty…” – bad…I mean, it looks like what it was like 1972.  And in that way, as a film location, it’s pretty cool….and I’m thinking, “Where is this theater?”  Then I go through these neighborhoods that are like…up-and-coming, up-and-coming, up and coming…and then: boom.  It’s gorgeous.  I met Chad Jones, marketing director over at the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization – little by little, they are forcing landlords to step up their games…and in many other ways, they’re cleaning up that neighborhood.

The Tremonster:  Tell us a little bit about the film [Restoration] debuting at the Capitol Theater at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

Ward:  Restoration is a supernatural thriller…a young couple – a husband and wife – move into a new town because they just acquired a house. The wife is a doctor, and she’s doing her residency; the husband is a general contractor, and he’s renovating the house by himself so he can show the work to the surrounding neighborhood and build a reputation. When he’s tearing open a wall, he finds a diary that’s been hidden there for the last 30 years. When they open the diary, they release more than just the information contained inside…

For more information about Ward’s 4 pm, July 10, directorial debut showing of Restoration at the Capitol Theatre (and advance tickets), please visit  The film, Restoration, is available on Amazon, iTunes, Direct TV, Google Play, I Demand, Comcast, and Hulu, for those people that can’t make it to the theater.

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