75 Years of It’s a Wonderful Life


Would the world be an uglier place if you’d never been born? Of course it would! And in that spirit, celebrate the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life in this, its 75th anniversary year. You can see it on the big screen, enjoy it as a live one-man show, and learn more about its fascinating history.


The Original



Tonight only, bring a new unwrapped toy to the TCL Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard for admission to a special free screening. Curtain up is at 7:00pm. For tickets, email [email protected]; for more information, visit the Chinese Theatre’s website.


This Wonderful Life



For a new theatrical twist on the classic, Rogue Machine Theatre presents a one-man stage adaptation called “This Wonderful Life,” conceived by Mark Setlock, written by Steve Murray and performed by Leo Marks. It opens Thursday, December 16 and runs Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays through January 3, 2022. All show times are at 8:00pm. Dark on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Performed at Rogue Machine’s new home in the Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave.


Histories Written and Oral


 Next, in a review called “Cloy to the World: It’s a Wonderful Life Revisited,” NPR goes deep analyzing why the movie endures, with a 22-minute installment of its “Pop Culture Happy Hour” podcast. Linda Holmes, Glen Weldon, Aisha Harris and Stephen Thompson share their insights. Listen here.

And finally, I first heard of “It’s a Wonderful Life” when I read this article, “Wonderful,” in The New Yorker when I was young. It describes an eighth annual viewing party, where New Yorkers come together to put aside their cynicism and get emotional around the Betamax. (Note that this one is paywalled – a New Yorker subscription is required to read.)

If that viewing party were still happening (it’s not), this would be its 50th anniversary. That gives me a warm fuzzy feeling–just like the ending of It’s a Wonderful Life.


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About Laura Foti Cohen

Laura Foti Cohen has lived in the Brookside neighborhood since 1993. She works as a freelance writer, editor and consultant. She's also a playwright affiliated with Neo Ensemble Theatre in Hollywood.

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