The Shawshank Redemption prison set to open as all year round tourist attraction

There are plans to renovate the Ohio State Reformatory to attract more fans

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

The prison made famous in Oscar-nominated classic The Shawshank Redemption is being restored as a tourist attraction after celebrating the hit movie’s 20th anniversary last week.

Closed in 1990 due to over-crowding, the Ohio State Reformatory brought in more than $10 million from around 80,000 tourists last year for “extreme” ghost hunts, murder mystery dinners and a Halloween festival.

But now, the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society wants to give the part-demolished building a makeover to encourage more Shawshank fans to visit throughout the year.

There are plans to clean, decorate, replace the huge cathedral windows and supply heating to the former prison so that it will be weatherproof for tourists within six months.

Any current visitors take themselves on self-guided tours to landmark sites from the 1994 film, such as the bench where elderly inmate Brooks fed the birds and the old oak tree where Andy hid money for Red.


Over the weekend, a Forties-themed cocktail party was thrown in the Reformatory’s renovated guard room to mark 20 years since The Shawshank Redemption, starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, was released.

Fans enjoyed a 13-stop bus tour, re-creations and appearances from some of the cast members, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.  

Surprisingly, considering its number one slot on IMDB’s Top 250 movies list, The Shawshank Redemption was a box office flop and failed to take home a single Oscar despite seven nominations.