For the first time in decades, one of the most beloved American films returns to the silver screen this Christmas, when the Smith Opera House presents the original 1947 holiday classic, “Miracle on 34th Street,” Dec. 18, 19, 20 and 21.
The holiday season is in full swing when a cultured gentleman with twinkling eyes, an ample belly, and a snowy beard (Edmund Gwenn) is hired as Macy's department store Santa. He claims his name is Kris Kringle, and soon fills everyone with Christmas spirit – except for his boss, Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara), who's raising her daughter Susan (Natalie Wood) to not believe in Santa. But when Kris is declared insane and put on trial, everyone's faith is put to the test as old and young alike face the age old question: Do you believe in Santa Claus?
Gwenn won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the “jolly old elf” Kringle. “Miracle on 34th Street” also won Oscars for Best Original Story and Best Screenplay; the latter credited to George Seaton who also directed. The film was nominated for Best Picture.
Based on the novel by Valentine Davies, “Miracle On 34th Street” was remade twice: once for TV in 1973, and a second time for a 1994 theatrical release, with Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle.
“Miracle on 34th Street” will be screened Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. and Monday and Tuesday at 7. In black and white, this film is not rated and has a running time of one hour, 37 minutes. All seats for this special holiday gift to the community are just $3. Call 781-5483 or toll-free (866) 355-5483 for details or to reserve tickets.
The Monday Movie Roundtable meets following the screening on Dec. 20. The Smith invites patrons to stay after and participate in insightful discussion about the film lead by The Smith's Arts-in-Education Director RJ Rapoza. The discussion takes place in The Smith's lower-level cabaret.
The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street in Geneva. The Smith is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the City of Geneva, the Town of Geneva and by contributions from individual supporters.