December 23, 1997 in Features

The Slice Enjoy ‘Wonderful Life’ With Complete Strangers

By The Spokesman-Review
 

You’ve got one more chance to see “It’s a Wonderful Life” on a theater screen before Christmas.

The holiday classic will be shown tonight at 7, at The Met in downtown Spokane. Admission is $5 and benefits the March of Dimes.

Sunday afternoon’s screening attracted only a dozen moviegoers. We’re told, however, that 55 people showed up for the Sunday night show.

So why pay to see a movie that you already have memorized from TV and videotape?

Well, because it’s just different in a theater. You see stuff you might not notice on a TV screen. And there’s something oddly satisfying about sharing your fondness for the film with strangers.

It’s almost as if a bunch of people gathered in a big living room.

At the Sunday matinee at The Met, it was fun to hear some women seated several rows away laughing at one of our own favorite moments. They were responding to the scene where George, Bert and Ernie ogle Violet and then exchange those now familiar remarks that manage to be amusingly honest without being lewd.

And chances are, no one judged harshly the person who was sniffling as, up on the screen, the “$25,000” telegram from Sam Wainwright was read aloud at the Bailey home.

So, OK. “It’s a Wonderful Life” long ago became something of a cultural cliche. And in the spirit of full disclosure, we should note that this column has made fun of it more than once.

But it’s still a special movie.

And getting to see it without commercials and without a celebrity host telling you how to feel about it, well, that’s something worth considering.

Hee Haw and Merry Christmas.

Secret identities: A few years ago, Dick Lundberg’s infant granddaughter played the role of the newborn Jesus at a local church’s walk-through Nativity scene. The baby girl’s parents played the parts of Mary and Joseph.

Anyway, a little boy who lived near that family was checking out the display when he realized that all was not as it seemed. The faces looked a little too familiar. Then he realized what was up. “Mom,” he said, “they’re our neighbors.”

Warm-up questions: Does eagle watching make you want fish for lunch? How would you feel about STA bus tokens as a stocking stuffer?

Today’s Slice question: What percentage of those attending a Christmas midnight Mass think they are taking part in an entertainment event as opposed to a religious service?

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: The Slice appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098. Dan Wisdorf wonders if everyone in the Spokane area has owned a Chia Pet at least once.

The Slice appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098. Dan Wisdorf wonders if everyone in the Spokane area has owned a Chia Pet at least once.


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