It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Christmas Eve Screening at
Stanford Theatre, Palo Alto

Monday, December 24, 2018

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: On Friday, December 14, 2018, I went to Stanford Theatre, Palo Alto, for the showing of The Bishop's Wife (5:30-7:20 pm) and Miracle on 34th Street (7:30-9:05 pm). The door opens at 5:00 pm, but the line ran around the block. The ticket collector said the long line is for those buying tickets for the Christmas Eve showing of It's a Wonderful Life. He told me that I could walk right in if I came to see Bishop's Wife. During the 10-minutes break, before the 7:30 pm showing of Miracle on 34th Street, I went outside and asked if all the tickets to Wonderful Life were sold out. She said there are still some left. So I bought one for $10, saving hours of waiting on line. Was told there are 1186 seats at the Stanford Theatre, and my ticket was #930. On Monday, December 24, got to Stanford Theatre at 7:20 pm, and the line was already around the block. They open the door at 8:00 pm & the film starts at 9:00 pm.
A lady first in line told me she got there at 4:30 pm. By the time I found the end of the line, it was at Garden Fresh, Ramona Street. When I passed Stanford Theatre, a woman offered her ticket #723 free. I told her to give it to someone without a ticket since I already have one. The ticket collectors told us "No souvenirs" as I entered the Theatre at 8:20 pm. They collected the whole ticket without tearing the stub (faster way to let in the crowd). Now, I regret not accepting the woman's offer of free ticket #723 that I would have given. This way I would have saved my ticket #930 as a gift to Ann Olmsted. Her Mom Jean and Dad Frederick both died at age 93. The Astronomical unit (AU) is the distance from Earth to the Sun, 93 million miles. Since AU is also the atomic symbol for Gold,
I think of Jean & Franklin Olmsted as golden sun-like individuals, lighting & warming the lives of others. When I went up to the mezzanine, my favorite seat at the back end row edge was taken. Even the balcony was almost filled. Lucky to find an empty seat
in the first row center right edge. The fellow told me he got there at 5 pm waiting. The packed-house crowd applauded when faces
of Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Henry Travers (Angel Clarence) first appeared on the screen. The movie ended at 11:10 pm
instead of the announced 11:30 pm. It gave me time to catch the 11:35 pm Bus #22 at Palo Alto Train Depot (next one 12:36 am).
After getting off at Rengstorff Ave & El Camino, it took 30 minutes to walk home via Central Expressway. I'm including Haikus
of December 24, 2018, with links to It's a Wonderful Life with the cast, film reviews, and video clippings from this film classic.

Bishop's Wife & Miracle on 34th St
Stanford Theatre Marquee (12-14-2018)
It's a Wonderful Life tickets on sale, 5 pm

The Bishop's Wife (1947)
Cary Grant (angel) falls in love with
the Bishop's wife (Loretta Young)

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) tells
Suzie (Natalie Wood) he's Santa Claus

Haikus written on December 24, 2018—
Monday, December 24, 2018, 9:00-11:10 pm
Palo Alto, Stanford Theatre: Frank Capra directs
"It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Henry Travers, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond, Gloria Grahame, H.B. Warner, Todd Karns, Samuel S. Hinds, Lillian Randolph; (YouTube:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Full film); Film Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Film performed poorly in 1946,
but is now considered one
of the greatest ever made.
Monday, December 24, 2018, 9:00-11:10 pm
Palo Alto: Got to Stanford Theatre at 7:20 pm;
Line stretched to Garden Fresh on 460 Ramona
Street; Girl 1st in line came at 4:30 pm; Got
empty seat in Mezzanine, 1st row center right edge;
Caught 11:35 pm Bus #22 at Palo Alto Train Depot
after film is over; 30 minutes walk home from
Rengstorff & El Camino via Central Expressway

Video of film ending on YouTube—
Final scene of movie (9:01),
Shorter final scene (3:53).

It's a Wonderful Life Poster
Stanford Theatre Lobby

Clarence & George Bailey
Stanford Theatre Window

James Stewart & Donna Reed
Stanford Theatre Window

Christmas Tree
Stanford Theatre Lobby

It's a Waonderful Life Marquee
Stanford Theatre, Palo Alto

George & Mary Dancing
It's a Waonderful Life

Film Ending Scene of
It's a Waonderful Life

Liberty Films Bell Ringing
Before the Film Title

Movie Title Page
After Liberty Bell Ringing

Frank Capra, Producer & Director
Last Page of Film Credits

Long Line after Garden Fresh
Ramona Street, Palo Alto

Long Line to Stanford Theatre
University Ave, Palo Alto

First Floor Sold-out Audience
Stanford Theatre (12-24-2018)

Mezzanine/Balcony Audience
Stanford Theatre (12-24-2018)

— Photographs by Peter Y. Chou, December 24, 2018

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