The Shawshank Redemption prison · Pop Pilgrims · The

Two years after the prison closed, it was taken over by the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society, which runs the 250, 000-square-foot site today. It’s a massive place to maintain, and the areas that haven’t been restored are run down. Inside the cellblocks, the layers of paint peeling off the walls look like ivy, and just about everything invites a tetanus shot.

Back in 1993, the cellblock was in better shape, but still not great. Darabont wanted the cells to face each other in the film, so all of the cellblock scenes were shot on a set constructed in the shuddered Westinghouse Electric factory in Mansfield. is still there, though the sets are long gone.

But most of the film was shot on the reformatory’s grounds. Throughout the facility are photos showing which scene was shot at that spot. There’s the parole board room, the warden’s office, the orientation room where the warden dresses down the new inmates, the cafeteria, solitary confinement, even the room that Brooks and Red rent after they’re released from prison. (The exteriors were shot elsewhere, but the room itself is in the prison administration building, complete with the “Brooks was here” graffiti.)

The strangest thing visitors will see—next to the ghosts that purportedly haunt the place—are the giant portraits of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin that hang in the room that served as the Shawshank cafeteria. They’re leftover props from, which shot at the reformatory four years after Shawshank. (A placard underneath the portraits notes that the Ohio State Reformatory and its preservation society do not endorse the views and actions of either man.)

The room where Warden Norton first addressed Andy Dufresne and the other inmates comically juxtaposes the prison’s cinematic history: It displays the tunnels from (the one that led from Andy’s cell and the sewage tunnel he used to escape) and has a sign in Russian on the wall hailing the utopian Communist state. Sadly, there are no leftover props from the Lil Wayne video for “Go DJ, ” which also shot here (along with Godsmack’s “Awake.”)


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