'It's a Wonderful Life' Museum Opens in Seneca Falls

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The iconic 1946 Frank Capra movie "It's a Wonderful Life" may mean more to Seneca Falls, N.Y. than any other town in the world. The town celebrates the movie with an annual festival and now there's more reason to brag: A new museum exhibit influenced by the movie has opened.

Once a year, the village of about 7,000 people changes its "Welcome to Seneca Falls" signs to "Welcome to Bedford Falls," the name of the fictional town in the classic film. Residents firmly believe Capra based the setting of the movie on their town.

The unofficial "Senaca Falls It's A Wonderful Life Museum" is fittingly located in the town's first movie theatre, which is home to the Center for the Voices of Humanity. Director Anwei Law says she moved some of the organization's offices around to make way for the exhibit, but it's worth it.

"It's amazing what this movie means to people," Law tells AOL Travel News "We just think it's important [the message]. Focusing on the value of each person."

In the film, set during the Depression-era bank run, banker George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, comes to realize how important his life is with the help from a guardian angel. The tear-jerking climax of the movie occurs on Christmas Eve.

The new one-room exhibit features movie posters, memorabilia, photos and magazine covers, some donated by the former child actress Karolyn Grimes, who plays George Bailey's daughter Zuzu in the movie and came for the exhibit opening.

The museum also has a wall of quotes from Frank Capra, one of which sums up the moral of the film nicely: "To champion man, plead his causes and protest any degradation of his dignity, spirit and divinity."


UPDATED: A correction has been made to this story.
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