the colonial theatre marquee

Illuminating Cinema: It’s a Wonderful Life

Directed by Frank Capra. US. 1946. NR. 2 hours 10 minutes. Paramount. Digital.
Sponsored by CENTURY 21 Norris-Valley Forge
Sun., December 23, 2018
December 23, 2018
1:00 pm

Please note that only the Illuminating Cinema class is sold out. Tickets are available for all of our It’s a Wonderful Life film screenings. Check show times and by tickets here.

One of the most popular movies of all time, It’s a Wonderful Life has come to represent all the hope, good will, and sentiment that define the holiday season. Please join us in rooting for Jimmy Stewart, Clarence the Angel, and all his friends as they discover that each of us, in our own way, is a vital part of the world. “Attaboy, Clarence!”

About the Talk & Conversation

It’s time to deck the halls with the Christmas edition of Illuminating Cinema…

We’re looking at one of the Colonial Theatre’s Holiday favorites, Frank Capra’s, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).

An integral aspect of our discussion will focus on the origins of the Christmas ghost story, that style of storytelling that contains supernatural or fantastical themes. This entails an examination of the Gothic tale, that began with the publication of Horace Walpole’s, The Castle of Otranto (1764), and would influence such Victorian classics as Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre (1847), and, Emily Bronte’s, Wuthering Heights (1847). Particular consideration will be given to the contributions of Charles Dickens, especially the dynamics of, A Christmas Carol (1843), which introduced, rather than a malevolent spirit dedicated to the destruction of the mortal characters in the story, the idea of the benevolent entity, working to guide humans that have strayed from a path of justice and hope. A dynamic which is clearly central to Capra’s classic film.

Similarly, the discussion will analyze how such stories, developed during the Industrial Revolution, were specifically designed by their creators to remind the audience of the dangers of unrepentant monetary greed, itself a product of rampant capitalism. Instead these Christmas tales emphasize the belief that true happiness is acquired, not through the acquisition of financial wealth, but through the simple acts of love and comradeship, helping your fellow creatures in their times of need.

About the Speaker

Andrew Owen received an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Bangor University, Great Britain, and was a fulltime faculty member at Cabrini University. Andrew is also a house manager here at the Colonial.

Andrew’s main areas of interest relate to the social history of censorship within popular culture; analyzing areas related to propaganda, horror, and the societal and cultural dynamics of censorship discourse and practice. Andrew is also interested in the study of humor, especially as it pertains to its usage by subordinated social groups to attack, challenge, or draw attention to the oppressive ideologies and practices of the dominant social group.


1:00PM – Pre-Show Talk in the Garden Suite
1:30PM – Film Screening in the 1903 Theatre
3:45PM – Post-Show Conversation in the Garden Suite


Adults: $25
Members, Seniors & Students: $20
Click HERE to purchase a ticket to the It’s a Wonderful Life film screening only.

In addition to admission to the film screening and the pre- and post-film discussions, your Illuminating Cinema ticket includes a free small popcorn, a free small soda, a complimentary theatre cup. Plus $5 beer or wine (at this event only).

A limited number of tickets are available for each Illuminating Cinema presentation so we encourage advance purchases.

Discounts are available when you purchase tickets for all current Illuminating Cinema selections during the same transaction.

Member Passes are not accepted for this program.

About Illuminating Cinema

When the credits end that’s when the conversation begins!

Illuminating Cinema connects you with film fans of all ages for fun, refreshments and engaging conversation. Each presentation begins in our beautiful Garden Suite with a pre-show introduction from a guest speaker who offers insight and observation to help sharpen your focus on the respective film. After the lights go up in the historic 1903 auditorium, we’ll gather in the Garden Suite for a convivial post-film conversation with the speaker and each other.

In addition to admission to the film screening and the pre- and post-film discussions, your Illuminating Cinema ticket includes a free small popcorn, a free small soda, a complimentary theatre cup. Plus $5 beer or wine (at the Illuminating Cinema event only).

Focus your appreciation for film with Illuminating Cinema!