Egyptian Theatre to screen ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’

By Parker Otto

DeKALB – The holiday film “It’s A Wonderful Life” will be screened at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N Second St. The screening will feature multiple additions that a viewer can’t experience at home Jeanine Holcomb, Marketing and Communications Director of the Egyptian Theatre, said.

“The doors will open at 1 p.m. and there will be a brass quartet playing on the stage,” Holcomb said. “We will also be playing a pre show on 35 MM film full of old previews you would see before a screening of this movie which will include Santa Claus wishing everyone a happy holiday, old cigarette ads and the cartoon ‘Pluto’s Christmas Tree.’”

A charity will also be conducted at the screening in the form of a diaper drive. Patrons who bring in diapers will receive a free medium popcorn and all diapers donated will be delivered to the We Care Pregnancy Center, 405 N Fifth St.

We Care Pregnancy Center helps people going through pregancy by supplying free of charge secives including Adoption Information, Pregancy Tests, Maternity and Infant Supplies, Ultrasounds and Abortion Information, according to the Center’s official website.

“It’s A Wonderful Life” tells the story of George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, who considers suicide on Chirstmas Eve but is thwarted by an angel named Clarence, played by Henry Travers. Clarence then shows George what life for his loved ones would have been like if he never existed, making George grateful for the wonderful, imperfect life he leads. 

The film was released in 1946 and garnered critical acclaim with five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and currently ranks number 20 on the American Film Institute’s top 100 films of all time. “It’s a classic,” Holcomb said. “This is the third year in a row we’ve shown it on 35 MM film and it’s a tradition at the Egyptian Theatre.”

Performing at the on the stage of the Egyptian Theatre will be a brass quartet composed of local musicians Gavin Wilson and Brian Balika on trumpet, Dave Balika on trombone and Sean Freeman on tuba.

“Alex [Nerad, Executive Director of the Egyptian Theatre] and I have worked together for years and he asked me to put a group together,” Wilson said. “We will play some Christmas songs arranged for brass quartet.”

Volunteers at the Egyptian Theatre have implanted devices that will cause snow to fall on the crowd, Holcomb said. “When the line ‘every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings’ is said, the snow will fall. It’s magical.”

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is the fourth film screened as part of the Egyptian Theatre’s Classic Film Series. The series, which shows one classic film every month, began Sept. 15 with “The Wizard of Oz” and will continue through May. The next film in the series, “Casablanca” will be screened at 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Egyptian Theatre.