La Mirada man’s ‘Christmas Vacation” house draws visitors, city scrutiny

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The faces of children and adults gathered on the recent December night, a tradition of Christmas every year, shining brightly. Jeff Norton’s Ramirada’s house has been transformed into a “National Lampoon Christmas Vacation” display.

This year’s design, including a fake second story of Norton’s house, was largely canceled by the enforcement of the code because it was not allowed to be added by the city in southeastern Los Angeles County and was considered unsafe.

“What does it mean to withdraw?” Norton, 46, recently pointed to a fake second story in his house in a red Santa Claus hat. “It means Christmas is over.”

If the 1989 comedy starring Chevy Chase had to disassemble additional plastic parts to make the home look like a suburban Chicago home, the entire exhibit would have been put on hold.

Norton said he faced a fine of at least $ 1,200. This was to be paid as a price to maintain the display.

At Jeff Norton’s house in Ramirada, the animated mannequin of the movie character Cousin Eddie is emptying the RV septic tank.

(Allen J. Shaven / Los Angeles Times)

However, after receiving a great deal of support from the community, news coverage from local media and Christmas miracles did not forgive the city, Norton said. As part of an agreement with the city, he said the exhibition could continue until January 1.

“The residents of La Mirada fought really hard for me,” he said, receiving donations from guests at his exhibition and in return for merchandise such as commemorative magnets and glass mousse mugs used in the film. Norton handing out said. Norton jokes that he has stopped counting the amount of money he spends on passionate projects, but estimates it to be around $ 100,000.

The city of La Mirada did not respond to numerous requests for comments to support the Norton event timeline.

Movie character mannequin in front of a decorated house

Fake snow falls when Jeff Norton on the right finishes his decoration.

(Allen J. Shaven / Los Angeles Times)

Since 2018, Norton has surprised neighbors and visitors with his elaborate display that shines like a Christmas beacon in a quiet suburban neighborhood. The scene from the movie sits in Norton’s front yard, completion Along with movie rides and Christmas illumination walls, there are mannequins dressed as funny comedy characters.

The characters include Clark Griswald, who plays Chase as the central dad of all that failed in multiple “Vacation” movies, and Cousin, who plays Randy Quaid, who is supported near the RV and empties a fake septic tank. -Norton driveway that includes Eddie.

Norton said the 1972 Ford Condor RV was rescued after being rescued from a campsite where he had been sitting for 20 years, then mocked up like a movie RV.

“I started with RV and regular store mannequins,” Norton said. “I realized I was excited, so I went out and bought three palettes of lights.”

Norton jokes that he and his wife have divorced because of his “childish behavior” rather than Grizzwold’s display. He says his daughters love the transformation of the house, but they think he’s a little crazy.

Norton, who sells classic cars, painted the house in the same yellow tint as Griswold’s house and installed a green shutter. During the holiday season, station wagons and police cars are parked in front and other mannequins are placed in various poses in the movie. In his living room, the disappointment of his yuppie neighbor was also represented by a mannequin. And the scene where his boss was wrapped in a bow with a holiday gesture didn’t work.

Kizzy Peterson, who came from Paramount, took a selfie in front of the house because of fake snow from a pump installed by Norton.

“The owner definitely spent a lot of time thinking,” Peterson said. “Around this time, it brings a lot of holiday spirit. The details are perfect. I think he didn’t miss anything.”

Cypress’s daughter and mother, Miranda and Minerva Zapper, have been visiting the Griswold House since 2019. As a sign of true dedication, they came to see the exhibition with a crowd of family and friends.

Visitors take pictures of Jeff Norton's Ramirada's house.

Visitors take pictures of Jeff Norton’s Ramirada’s house.

(Allen J. Shaven / Los Angeles Times)

“Last year we brought in a group of about 20 people,” Minerva said. “I love it.”

“I love how colorful it is,” Miranda said. “Everything they put into this house, it just makes it great and very amazing.”

Albert Saldvar from La Habra said his 27-year-old son Damian had recently seen his “Christmas holiday” for the first time. His parents stared and laughed while he stood in awe of the display.

“They told me it was a cheerful, goofy, funny movie,” Damian said. “This house is a pretty good replica of the movie. If you’ve seen a movie and want to see it, come here.”

Some of Norton’s neighbors, who don’t want to be identified, said they enjoyed the sight of Grizzwold just outside the front door. One woman said she didn’t care about the lights, but the crowd can be a little annoying.

Another neighbor said traffic and parking can be a headache before and after vacations. Norton’s house is in a dead end, blocking the entire street so that pedestrians can see the display from the street.

A 1989 Los Angeles Times review emphasizes how “Christmas Vacation” combines the images of “The Great Life” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” into a single visual gag.

For Norton, the marriage of seasonal emotions and moody humor, a “Christmas vacation,” makes it a timeless classic.

“This movie is Christmas. I can watch” Home Alone “and do it all, but for me” National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation “is an absolutely entertaining movie and in my hand It’s an unbearable period, dot-com, “Norton said. “I love this movie.”

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