It’s a Wonderful Life

It's a wonderful laugh! It's a wonderful love!

“What is it you want, Mary? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.”

Hot Dog! At this time of year, we get inundated with audience requests for the “holiday classic to define all holiday classics,”Frank Capra‘s IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, and are continuing our tradition of giving it much deserved big screen love with a viewing on December 23.

For movie-lovers around the world, this bittersweet yet optimistic sentimental comedy drama is as essential a holiday tradition as chestnuts roasting on an open fire. And we couldn’t agree more! Beyond its own charming warmth, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE is one of the most influential fantasy films ever made and one of the most universally adored example of old-school Hollywood. Come on out to dance by the light of the moon and get put under the magic spell (again!) of this transcendent cinematic masterpiece – with the newly restored, big-screen viewing it so richly deserves.

Jimmy Stewart gives one of his all-time best performances as George Bailey, a good man with a big heart. Though George is the guiding force behind the modest local building and loan company he inherited from his own generous father, he is eternally in debt himself, and has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. George has always longed to travel beyond his idyllic small town and see the world, but he never has, lest the local rich despot Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore, in a role that provided the DNA for The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns) take over – all that prevents him from doing so is George and his company. But on Christmas Eve 1946, George’s Uncle Billy loses the business’ entire $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. When Mr. Potter finds the misplaced money, he hides it. In a pivotal moment of sheer desperation, George wishes he was never born, at which point a bumbling angel named Clarence (he needs to get his wings!) is sent from beyond to show him what his life would look like – without him in it. Also starring Donna Reed and Henry Travers.

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE is about hunger. It’s about greed. It’s about the many ways a good man is stymied. Finally, it’s about George Bailey, whose decency prevents him even from killing himself.” (Salon)

“This is the all-time great, curl-up-on-the-sofa-with-a-cup-of-tea movie. Not only is it beautifully photographed, but it also contains enough emotional strength to hold your attention for all of its two-hour running time.” (Total Film)

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE is a pretty wonderful movie.” (TIME Magazine)

Saturday, December 23
Doors 6:30 pm | Movie 7:00 pm *Start time subject to change. Please arrive on time.
Advance tickets HERE

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Frank Capra, 1946 / 130 mins / G) After George Bailey wishes he had never been born, an angel is sent to earth to make George’s wish come true. George starts to realize how many lives he has changed and impacted, and how they would be different if he was never there.


*Minors permitted. Must be 19+ w/ID for bar service and main floor seating.
*Rio Theatre Groupons and Rio Theatre passes are OK for any single film screening only. Please redeem at the box office.
*All seating is General Admission; please arrive 20-30 minutes prior to showtime to ensure great seats and time for treats.
*Online sales end an hour before showtime; unless otherwise noted, tickets are always available for purchase at the box office prior to showtime.  Our box office is typically open 30 minutes before showtime.
*All Rio Theatre tickets are final sale.
*If you are looking to redeem either a Rio Theatre gift certificate or Groupon to any regular Rio Theatre screening: You can either email us in advance <[email protected]> and give us a “heads up,” or do it at the box office prior to showtime. (We seat 400+ people and our regular screenings are very rarely at capacity – you should not have issues being admitted.)

Sat Dec 23 7:00 pm

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A holiday favourite for generations... George Bailey has spent his entire life giving to the people of Bedford Falls. All that prevents rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town is George's modest building and loan company. But on Christmas Eve the business's $8,000 is lost and George's troubles begin.
  • Budget
    $3,180,000.00
  • Revenue
    $9,644,124.00
  • IMDB

About The Rio

Voted the #1 Independent Theatre in Vancouver, the Rio Theatre is a multimedia venue featuring arthouse, mainstream and cult-classic cinemas as well as live entertainment. Built in 1938, the Rio has been fully restored with a state of the art digital projector, surround sound, a huge stage and 420 luxurious seats.

1660 East Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Phone: 604.879.3456

Info Line: 604.878.3456

Email: [email protected]

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