Travel to Bedford Falls, Right Here in SoCal

The Christmas must-see is ready for its return to the silver screen.

What to Know

  • The Egyptian, the Aero, Rooftop Cinema Club, and the New Beverly
  • Different dates, but all falling just a few days ahead of Christmas
  • See the classic on the big screen

Booking a trip to Bedford Falls?

Many of us may long to, especially come the second half of the final month, but the truth of the matter is this: We would need to hire a truly magical travel agent to get the job done, a sort of booker who knows how to send people from this all-too-real world into the Capra-esque charm of the on-film fantasy town.

Like, you'd require someone as gifted as Clarence the angel to make your travel plans, is what we're suggesting.

But Bedford Falls, the everyone-knows-everyone burg seen in 1946's "It's a Wonderful Life," did exist, at one time, here in Southern California, 'round about Encino way, back when the old RKO Ranch stood and an entire convincing townscape, or at least a convincing portion of one, served as the quaint town seen in the holiday movie.

And, hold up, wait, yes, we know. The pool scene was filmed at Beverly Hills High School, and not in Encino. What kind of "Wonderful" super-fans would any of us be if we couldn't truck that piece of trivia out at the office Christmas party?

The heart of the matter is this: We here in Southern California do love to embrace our enchanted, movie-magic, Bedford-Fallsian past each December with not one, not two, but multiple big-screen showings of the film, which famously featured Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore. 

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Where are such screenings to be found? Best run down a snowy street, joyfully, like George Bailey might, in the direction of...

Rooftop Cinema Club already screened it once this season atop The Montalban, but the sparkly-hearted flick is returning for a second helping of cheer on Saturday, Dec. 23.

New Beverly Cinema will show the poignant, bring-a-hankie treat on both Friday, Dec. 22 and Saturday, Dec. 23 as part of a double-feature (hooray, "A Christmas Story" is the other flick on the bill).

And American Cinematheque will revisit the tale of that come-together town on Thursday, Dec. 21 and Friday, Dec. 22 at The Egyptian in Hollywood and Saturday, Dec. 23 (for two showings) at The Aero in Santa Monica.

Here's to you, Bedford Falls, a town that's at well at home in sunny Southern California.

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