christmas movies

See a ‘Wonderful' Screening, for Free, in Hollywood

The TCL Chinese 6 is celebrating "It's a Wonderful Life" with a complimentary showing, but do RSVP first.

This image released by Paramount Home Entertainment shows child actor Karolyn Grimes on the back of Jimmy Stewart in a scene from the holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life."
Paramount Home Entertainment via AP

What to Know

  • Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.; entry is free
  • TCL Chinese 6 in Hollywood
  • RSVP to info@chinesetheatres.com by noon on Dec. 14; attendees are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for the theater's toy drive

There are so many iconic scenes in 1947's "It's a Wonderful Life," from the dance floor opening to reveal the swimming pool below, to George walking Mary home after the dance, to little ZuZu sweetly explaining just what the ringing of a bell signifies near the film's poignant conclusion.

But almost any fan of the timeless Christmas movie will cite George Bailey running through the middle of Bedford Falls, shouting relieved greetings at various businesses, as a main and moving moment in the holiday classic.

You're welcome to do the same, if you like, as you make your way to the TCL Chinese 6 theaters for a free screening of "It's a Wonderful Life" on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Of course, the names of the businesses in Hollywood do differ from those found in the fictional Bedford Falls, but surely the sentiment would be the same as you call out "Merry Christmas, Musso and Frank Grill!" and "Merry Christmas, El Capitan Theatre!"

But don't impersonate a newly renewed George Bailey for too long: You'll want to get to the theater ahead of the 7 p.m. showing.

And well ahead of that? You'll need to RSVP, to let the organizers know you're coming. You can do so by emailing info@chinesetheatres.com by noon on Dec. 14.

This glee-bringing give-back to the local community has another give-back element: Guests are encouraged to show with an unwrapped toy for the theater's toy drive.

If you know the film by heart, line by line, consider this a twinkly chance to view it in the heart of Tinseltown.

If you've never seen this seminal seasonal bon bon, or saw it long ago, maybe it is time for a revisit. The Frank Capra-helmed film, as deep as it is delightful, regularly makes all sorts of cinematic Top 10 lists, even though decades passed before the movie made its indelible way into our collective hearts and minds, thanks to repeated airings on television.

The quintessential small town on screen is, as mentioned, the snowy and charming Bedford Falls. But Bedford Falls was brought to life in sunny Southern California, with local cities such as Encino, Beverly Hills, and La Cañada Flintridge starring as the Christmas village of our movie-loving dreams.

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