Exactly 70 years ago, on December 21 ,1946, “It’s a Wonderful Life” was premiered for the general public at the Globe Theatre in New York City with screenings starting at 8:30 am. A special premiere benefit had been held for the Boy’s Club of New York the day before, December 20. The film would premiere at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood on Christmas Eve. The rest is history.
When Frank Capra made “It’s a Wonderful Life” he said that he hoped that the film would make people believe in themselves and believe in each other again. Each step along the way — from the film’s financial loss at the box office, to its showing at San Quentin Prison, to its release in countries around the world, to the failure to renew the copyright that resulted in it being introduced to a new generation via television, to the 1993 reunion of the “Bailey Kids”, to its connection with a small town in New York state called Seneca Falls that firmly believes in the value of each individual — has contributed to the film’s legacy and the promotion of its timeless message.
Check out highlights from the recent It’s A Wonderful Life Festival in Seneca Falls, NY.
Watch the famous final scenes from the original movie below…