It's A Wonderful Life Museum, Seneca Falls

Specialty Museum · Museum
The Seneca Falls It’s a Wonderful Life Museum was opened on December 10, 2010. The Museum is located in a portion of what was the first movie theater in town, the Seneca Theater, which was built in 1913 by Charles Fornesi, the first Italian to immigrate to Seneca Falls.

Karolyn Grimes, who played “Zuzu” in the film, has loaned photographs and memorabilia from the film that are on display. The Museum’s Exhibit includes quotes from Frank Capra that focus on his philosophy of the value of each individual together with photographs of scenes from the film.

The Museum illustrates why local residents have long believed that Seneca Falls was the inspiration for Bedford Falls. Information is also presented on Antonio Varacalli, a young man who drowned while trying to save a woman who jumped from the bridge into the canal, whose story might well be the inspiration for some important scenes in the film.

To learn about the “It’s a Wonderful Life” weekend in Seneca Falls, which is always held the second weekend in December, see
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It's A Wonderful Life Museum reviews

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148 reviews
  • While It's A Wonderful Life was actually filmed in California, it seems there is plenty of information to corroborate that Seneca Falls probably was the model Capra was using for for Bedford Falls...  more »
  • Seneca Falls hosts “Its a Wonderful Life Festival” which certainly emulates the symbolism of the original James Stewart film. The festival steps you right into the town of Bedford Falls with the...  more »
  • Well, it was wonderful. Lots of memorabilia packed in a small space celebrating the beloved classic film and its director, principal actors and crew. The owners were gracious and generous with stories. Admission is free. We stayed for half an hour. Don't leave without buying a souvenir at the gift shop.
  • Looking forward to the plans/remodel for the 75th anniversary. The folks who keep the place running are very enthusiastic about the movie and are wanting to share the history of the museum. Pretty neat place just don't expect to spend hours here.

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