Shawshank 30th Anniversary Celebration

MANSFIELD, Ohio – Travelers, media and locals are invited to attend a celebration marking the 30th Anniversary of the release of the No. 1 movie of all time (per IMDb), “The Shawshank Redemption.” Made popular by its incredible story, characters, location and iconic messages of hope and “Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’!’,” the film resonates with audiences globally, continues to be one the most viewed movies and is considered one of the most beloved films ever made. In 2015, the Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Planned for Aug. 8-11, the 30th Anniversary is being marked by a weekend packed with tours of more than a dozen filming sites in and around Mansfield, actor meet-ups, photo ops, screenings and panel discussions with the film’s writer/director, actors, background actors and others. Details are found at and will be updated as events are added on those sites, as well as on social media. Tickets are now on sale and events schedules are available at and events are expected to sell out.

Taking place in Mansfield, Ashland and Upper Sandusky, Ohio, guided and self-guided tours of the prison and other Shawshank filming sites are available, including guided Shawshank Bus Tours Thursday Aug. 8 at noon and Friday at 10 a.m. and noon. Tour stops on the Shawshank Trail  include Ohio State Reformatory, Shawshank Museum, Renaissance Theatre, Shawshank Woodshop in Upper Sandusky, Pugh Cabin at Malabar Farm State Park, the bank in Ashland and other sites in and around Mansfield.

The legendary Frank Darabont, who directed the movie and wrote the screenplay based on Steven King’s Novella, “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” will join the big celebration. Visitors can also meet Turner Classic Movies Host, Podcaster and Writer Ben Mankiewicz; Bob Gunton, who starred as Warden Norton; William Sadler, who played Heywood; Gil Bellows, who portrayed Tommy Williams; Mark Rolston who played Bogs Diamond; Alfonso Freeman who portrayed the Young Ellis Boyd (Red); Mack Miles who was Tyrell; Paul Kennedy who portrayed the Food-Way Manager and background actors. Renee Blaine who played Linda Dufresne; Scott Mann, who played the role of Glenn Quentin; and Claire Slemmer, who played the Bank Teller, will also attend the weekend and will sign autographs at the locations where their scenes were filmed.

A highlight of the weekend will be the 30th Anniversary Cast Discussion Friday, Aug. 9 from 4-5:30 p.m., led by Mankiewicz and featuring Director/Writer Frank Darabont, along with key players. Additional events include the Behind the Scenes & Beyond Panel Friday, Aug. 9, 10-11 a.m., which features Shawshank Location Manager Kokayi Ampah who will offer a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn how sites in and around Mansfield were carefully selected to become the iconic locations that brought the film to life. Lively Q&A will help attendees uncover the fascinating process of choosing and creating film settings.

Saturday, Aug. 10 from 10-11:00 a.m. and Sunday, Aug. 11 from 9-10 a.m., a Background Actors Panel lets visitors to hear firsthand from key background actors who made “The Shawshank Redemption” so real and meaningful. From filling “The Yard” with prisoners to populating the market realistic shoppers and bank with believable customers, attendees will find out how the 180-plus actors, many of whom were locals, landed their roles and what the experience was like for them.

Events kick off at dusk, Thursday, Aug. 8 with a drive-in movie-style screening of “The Shawshank Redemption” in historic Renaissance Theatre’s back lot on a big screen erected just for this special event. Additional screenings with reserved seats inside the theater are set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

Guided tours and accommodations in the area are expected to sell out, with complete visitor and lodging information available at or (800) 642-8282. While in the area for the 30th Anniversary Celebration, travelers are encouraged to check out the region’s many other great attractions and experiences.

A destination unlike any other, Mansfield invites visitors to discover the stories of its warm and friendly people, hometown experiences, villages and history. They'll find wealth of travel adventures, unique to the place, such as tours and Ghost Hunts at Ohio State Reformatory where the No. 1 movie of all time (per IMDB), the Shawshank Redemption, was filmed, along with nearly a dozen other sites along the Shawshank Trail. The new Buckeye Imagination Museum, Ohio Bird Sanctuary, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Kingwood Center Gardens, and BibleWalk create unforgettable family experiences marked by breathtaking scenery and rural charm. Hiking, biking, golf, an impressive wine and ale trail, bird watching and loads of other outdoor adventures entertain travelers of all ages.