A cutout of Red played by Morgan Freeman is in the room where the parole board scene was filmed for “The Shawshank Redemption.” CONNIE POST/STAFF
Photo: Connie Post
Photo: Connie Post

WORTH THE DRIVE: ‘Shawshank Redemption’ 25th Anniversary Celebration is this weekend

Fans of IMBD’s No. 1 movie of all time, “The Shawshank Redemption,” have been waiting eagerly all year for the huge 25th Anniversary Celebration this month in Mansfield. Now, they have even more to be excited about. 

Organizers of the three-day celebration announced that legendary director, screenwriter and producer Frank Darabont will take part in the events. This means on Friday, Aug. 16, Darabont will join a panel discussion featuring the largest assembly of the movie’s cast and crew since its 1992 filming in Mansfield, according to an event press release. The discussion takes place in the historic Renaissance Theatre, where the movie premiered in 1994.
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Tickets for anniversary events planned for Aug. 16, 17 and 18 are still on sale at shawshanktrail.com

Darabont is a three-time Oscar nominee and one of only six filmmakers in history to have his first two feature films nominated for Best Picture Academy Award: “The Shawshank Redemption” received seven nominations and “The Green Mile” received four.

“Shawshank” enthusiasts who consider themselves “The Walking Dead” fans, too, will be thrilled to know that Darabont developed and produced the first season and part of season two of “The Walking Dead.” 

***PREVIOUS UPDATE (March 27, 2019)***

Tickets are now on sale for “The Shawshank Redemption” 25th Anniversary Celebration.

The events being planned for Aug. 16-18 are in celebration of the 1994 release of IMBD's No. 1 movie of all time.

Tickets are now available for the following events: 

• The Shawshank Redemption movie screening, Friday, Aug. 16 at the Renaissance Theatre where the movie originally premiered in 1994 

• Actor autograph session, Saturday, Aug. 17, Ohio State Reformatory from 1:30-3 p.m. 

• Exclusive Shawshank Reception at the Ohio State Reformatory on Saturday, Aug. 17, 7-9 p.m. 

There will be plenty of free, non-ticketed events as well, such as the Shawshank Author’s Panel, Sunday Aug. 18 at the Ohio State Reformatory and self-guided tours of filming sites.

Tickets can be purchased on the brand-new ShawshankTrail.com website. 

According to a press release sent out by organizers, "The Shawshank Trail was created in 2008 to allow fans of the film to experience self-guided tours of all the Shawshank filming sites. The new ShawshankTrail.com website features all 16 filming sites, photo galleries, podcasts, videos, fan photos, lodging packages and souvenirs for sale. Fans are encouraged to share their photos and memories via social media for a chance to be featured on the site by using #Shawshank25 and following and tagging @ShawshankTrail on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The new site also highlights a page devoted to the 25th Anniversary celebration. Visitors to the site can also request a free printed Shawshank Trail brochure or view the virtual guide."

*** PREVIOUS STORY (March 7, 2019)

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 25 years since cult-classic “The Shawshank Redemption” was released.

The film was shot in its entirety just a short drive away in Mansfield at the Ohio Reformatory.

This Aug. 16-18, travelers are encouraged to join cast members and other Shawshank die-hards in Mansfield to immerse themselves in the film’s iconic characters, sets and history.

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Visitors can get a glimpse of life behind bars in the West Tower at the Ohio State Reformatory Historic Site. CONNIE POST/STAFF
Photo: Connie Post

Many actors from the film will be in attendance too, offering visitors the chance to meet their favorite Shawshank characters in person. 

To date, Bob Gunton (Warden Norton), William Sadler (Heywood), Mark Rolston (Bogs), Frank Medrano (Fat Ass), Alfonso Freeman (Red’s Mugshot and a Fresh Fish Guy), Scott Mann (Glenn Quentin), Renee Blaine (Linda Dufresne) and Claire Slemmer (Bank Teller) will be on hand to meet fans, according to a news release from event organizers. Additional guests, events and features are being added as details are finalized.

Travelers are encouraged to book travel now, but follow @ShawshankTrail social media for updates. 

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Layers upon layers of peeling paint reveal a glimpse of how the West Tower at the Ohio State Reformatory looked between 1895 and 1990, when more than 155,000 men did time. Visitors can peer into the small jail cells, which were large enough to accommodate a twin-size bed, toilet and small sink. CONNIE POST/STAFF


“The Shawshank Redemption” anniversary will be celebrated with more than a dozen original film sites in and around Mansfield hosting tours and events throughout the entire weekend. 

The Ohio State Reformatory was featured in the film as Shawshank State Prison. Tours will take visitors inside Warden Norton’s office to Andy’s escape tunnel — and all points in between. 

Visitors are invited to travel the full, self-guided Shawshank Trail driving tour as they visit even more Shawshank filming sites, including: 

• Bissman Building (Brewer Hotel and Portland Daily Bugle) 

• Renaissance Theatre (Premiere of Shawshank Redemption) 

• The Shawshank Oak Tree Field (the tree was toppled by high winds in 2016) 

• Pugh Cabin at Malabar Farm (Opening scene) 

• Crosby Advisory Group LLC (Maine National Bank) 

• Revivals 2 Thrift Store (Trailways Bus Station) 

• Wyandot County Courthouse (Andy's Trial) 

• Shawshank Woodshop (Prison Workshop) 

• Carrousel Antiques (Pawn Shop Window) 

• Snyder & Hagerman Roads in Butler, OH (Road to Buxton) 

• Red's Bus Ride on Rt. 95 in Butler, OH (Bus to Fort Hancock, TX) 

• Brooks' Bench (Waiting for Jake) 

• KV Market (Food-Way) 

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A cutout of Red played by Morgan Freeman is in the room where the parole board scene was filmed for "The Shawshank Redemption." CONNIE POST/STAFF

On Friday night, Aug. 16, the film will be shown at the historic Renaissance Theatre, where the movie premiered in 1994. 

On Saturday afternoon, Aug. 17, actors will be available for autographs at the Ohio State Reformatory, followed by a cocktail party. 

The 5th annual Shawshank Hustle 7k family fun race also takes place on Saturday. This race features a route with filming sites, T-shirt, custom medal, food, music and more. Registration for the race is open. Some events will require tickets, and special anniversary souvenirs will be available for purchase to commemorate the exciting anniversary. 

Complete visitor information is available at DestinationMansfield.com or (800) 642-8282.

The Ohio State Reformatory Historic Site in Mansfield is the largest castle-like building in all of Ohio. CONNIE POST/STAFF
Photo: Connie Post