Councilmember Tom LaBonge will annouce today at Los Angeles City Hall that Dec. 3 will be declared "It's a Wonderful Life Day" in the city of L.A. on the film's 65th anniversary.
“There’s no movie like It’s a Wonderful Life,” said LaBonge in a press release. “With all the challenges we face today, we need more George Baileys and fewer Mr. Potters. It’s also nice to go back to a simpler time to remember the strength of family and neighbors and relationships. It’s a Wonderful Life offers that life-affirming message year after year, generation upon generation.”
“It’s a Wonderful Life Day” will commemorate both the film’s message and its ties to Los Angeles, where it was shot in 1946.
“It’s a Wonderful Life has made an indelible impact on popular culture and continues to be a beloved part of many families’ holiday tradition,” said LaBonge. “We are delighted to celebrate this treasured classic, which was created here in Los Angeles and has touched people throughout the world.”
Paramount Pictures is donating a DVD copy of the movie to every Los Angeles Public Library Branch as part of the celebration, according to LaBonge's office.
It's a Wonderful Life was filmed at the RKO studio in Culver City and at the RKO Ranch in Encino, where the town of "Bedford Falls" was constructed on four acres. The famous scene of Jimmy Stewart running through the snowy streets of Bedford Falls and screaming "Merry Christmas!" to everyone was in fact shot on a hot June day in the San Fernando Valley, and if you look closely you can see Stewart sweating through the coat.
According to LA Observed, the RKO Ranch, which was sold off in 1953, covered 110 acres and featured a Paris street for the original Hunchback of Notre Dame, a western street, a New York street, an airplane hangar and the mansion for The Magnificent Ambersons. A subdivision of homes now stands on the site just west of the Balboa Recreation Center.