Lido Theater Rings in Holiday Season with Annual Showing of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’

In the cannon of holiday cinema, It’s A Wonderful Life rightly earns its spot (or wings) as one of the most angelic Christmas classics. Watching the 1946, Frank Capra-directed movie, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, is a perennial family tradition for many, and the good people at Lido Theater in Newport Beach know it. The beloved film will play at Lido Theater from Friday, Dec. 14 through Monday, Dec. 17, shown at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day.

And, as an added bonus of festive, film-wise cheer, on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m., moviegoers can hang out with Santa, listen to carolers sing holiday tunes and sip on free hot cocoa before the 7 p.m. showing of It’s A Wonderful Life begins.

A living, standing homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood, Lido Theater celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. The historic landmark, a throwback to a gilded time gone by, is the ideal place to enjoy this award-winning holiday movie, which is two hours and fifteen minutes of all the warm and fuzzies you’d expect from one of the very best Christmas films to grace the big screen. For those who haven’t seen it, the comedy-drama details the story of an angel sent to help a frustrated businessman appreciate the goodness of his present existence by showing him what life would have been like if he never been born. (Hint: It wasn’t wonderful.)

It’s A Wonderful Life has been hailed as a flawless work of cinematic art by some of the nation’s top critics, and was even nominated for five Academy Awards in 1946. The movie didn’t snag any Oscars but it did win the Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Motion Picture.

Lido Theater It's A Wonderful Life
Image credit: Bob Hodson

The Lido Theater is located at Via Lido Plaza, 3459 Via Lido Way, off Newport Blvd., in Newport Beach. Tickets for children ages 2-11, and seniors age 61 and better are $9; students and military with ID are $10. Matinee showings are $9.50, and regular adult tickets after 5 p.m. are $11.50. To purchase tickets or for more information visit or call (949) 673-8350.