It’s A Wonderful Life Road Trip Launches Museum Crowdfunding Campaign
For immediate release: July 16, 2014
Contact: Francis Caraccilo
“I Wish I Had a Million Dollars…Hot Dog!”
It’s A Wonderful Road Trip Launches Museum Crowdfunding Campaign
Seneca Falls, NY – A cross country road trip will kick off a forty-day crowdfunding campaign for The Seneca Falls It’s A Wonderful Life Museum & Archives. As the trip begins, online fundraising through the Indiegogo crowdfunding site will be launched with a special event at the Museum at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.
With a goal of raising five hundred thousand dollars, the campaign’s theme will utilize lines from the film: “I wish I had a million dollars…Hot dog!” (George in Gower’s Drugstore) and, “…I’ll settle for half that in cash” (George to his father). Money raised will help acquire the building in which the Museum is currently a tenant, and prepare for expansion of its exhibits and create a physical and online archives. The campaign will also facilitate preservation and ongoing maintenance of this historic building constructed in 1913 as the community’s first movie theater. The Museum believes that if every fan of this classic movie and its message donated just ten dollars each, the half a million dollar goal would become easily attainable.
For the event the Museum, in partnership with the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, will invite representatives from Buffalo, Rochester and Elmira, all mentioned in the movie, to help spread the word about the campaign. Attendees will also learn how the stars for the Hollywood Walk of Fame, including director Frank Capra’s, were manufactured here in Seneca Falls until 1975. Museum Board member, Francis Caraccilo said, “This is just another example of how things associated with this film keep coming back to Seneca Falls. Sure there are a lot of coincidences, but they all add to the fun of having this important link to film history.”
The fundraising launch date coincides with the 68th anniversary of the last days of filming It’s A Wonderful Life, including such scenes as Zuzu in her room with her father George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, and the critical “Pottersville” sequences. Production call sheets, from The Goodson Collection, provided confirmation of the filming of these and other scenes at this time in 1946. Copies of original call sheets with “doodles” by Art Director, Jack Okey, will be displayed at the event.
The cross country trip will officially begin in Washington state, home of Karolyn Grimes, the actress who portrayed little Zuzu Bailey in the film. Embarking on the trip to promote the crowdfunding campaign will be Museum Board members, Anwei and Henry Law. They will leave Grimes’ home and travel to several archives and other places significant to people and/or themes associated with the film. Several National Park sites will also be included. People interested in donating to the campaign can securely do so through the Indiegogo site, and everyone is encouraged to spread the word to fans of the famous film. Those interested may follow the trip and the campaign’s progress on Facebook, Twitter and on the Museum’s website, www.wonderfullifemuseum.org, as the Laws make their way back to Seneca Falls.
The Museum is located at 32 Fall Street, Suite A, Seneca Falls, NY. It opened in December 2010 in the former Seneca Theater built by Charles Fornesi, the first Italian immigrant to permanently settle in this upstate New York community. In November 2013 the Museum received its Provisional Charter from the State of New York. Open all year around, the Museum serves as an accessible opportunity to renew connections with this film favorite and family traditions associated with it, enjoy interpretive exhibits about the movie and the people involved in its production, and learn about the connections between Seneca Falls and the film’s Bedford Falls. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Admission will always be free.