The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences kicked off the holiday season with a gala 70th anniversary screening of It’s a Wonderful Life on November 21 in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
The screening of Frank Capra’s holiday classic, a perennial Christmas favorite, was introduced by Randy Haberkamp, the Academy’s Managing Director of Preservation and Foundation Programs. Special guest Tom Capra, Frank’s son, welcomed the audience and spoke about the place of the film in his family’s life. Among those attending the screening were Frank Capra and Philip Van Doren Stern family members as well as Olivia Tiomkin.
Haberkamp moderated a trio of cast members including Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu), Carol Coombs Mueller (Janie), and Jimmy Hawkins (Tommy). Other treats of the evening: home movie footage from the film’s wrap party featuring an outdoor picnic with three-legged races and a cute child trying to get a swig of cola from a glass bottle that he could barely get his small hands around.
A special pop-up exhibit in the Goldwyn’s grand lobby showcased archival treasures related to the film curated from the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, Jimmy Hawkins, and the granddaughter of Philip Van Doren Stern.
December concerts, with Tiomkin’s music performed live to picture
Dimitri Tiomkin’s music score for It’s a Wonderful Life will be performed live to picture in the following cities.
December concert, with Tiomkin’s music and choreography
The Hal Leonard suite showcasing Dimitri Tiomkin’s music for the film will be performed with ballet choreography in Syracuse by Symphoria.
The Seneca Falls It’s a Wonderful Life Museum presents It’s a Wonderful Life 70th anniversary celebration on December 9, 10, and 11 in Seneca Falls, New York.