The Shawshank Redemption was shot largely on location, with the imposing, decommissioned Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, serving as the cinematic prison. It’s unlikely that a century-old, disused prison would become the centerpiece of a tourism industry, but that’s what’s happened, according to NPR. Tours are available inside the prison itself, including stops in the library, the showers, the solitary confinement cell, and the sewer pipe Andy (Tim Robbins) crawls through (which was built for the film, but was left standing after production ended). In 2008, the Mansfield Visitors Bureau put together “The Shawshank Trail” to help travelers, or “Shawshank Pilgrims,” find their way to filming sites around town, such as the huge oak tree where an aged Red (Morgan Freeman) contemplates life as a free man.
Local businesses that had nothing to do with the movie get in on the action, too. Cafe on Main sold a Shawshankwich, Eatmor Bundt Co. sells cakes shaped like the prison, and the Squirrels Den candy shop displays scenes from the movie re-created in chocolate.