It's a Wonderful Life Playing at the Grande in Pier Park

It’s a Wonderful Life Showing at The Grand Theatre
Film Showing Accompanies Holiday Promotion with Marine Toys for Tots

Panama City Beach, Fla. (November 21, 2008)—The Grand Theatre Pier Park 16 announced it will be showing the classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart in conjunction with the kickoff of their coming holiday promotion called “It’s a Grand & Wonderful Life.” The promotion begins November 28, 2008 and will run through December 21, 2008. Joining in the spirit of the season, The Grand is partnering with the local chapter of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to provide Christmas gifts for children in need. The free showings will take place Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14, each at 10:00 a.m.  Screenings of this film will be free of charge and open to the public.

Toys for Tots began in 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR, and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. Their endeavors were so successful that in 1948 the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots and expanded it into a nationwide campaign in every community where a Marine Reserve Center was located with the objective to “bring the joy of Christmas to America’s needy children.” In civilian life, Major Bill Hendricks was the Director of Public Relations for Warner Brothers Studio. This put him in a position to enlist the support of numerous celebrities to promote the efforts of Toys for Tots. Disney designed the original logo and posters. Nat “King” Cole, Peggy Lee, and Vic Damone recorded the Toys for Tots theme composed by Sammy Fain and Paul Webster in 1956. Bob Hope, John Wayne, Doris Day, Tim Allen, Johnny Carson, Sammy Davis, Jr., Clint Eastwood, John Glenn, Dean Martin, Billy Ray Cyrus, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart and Ronald Reagan are but a few of the celebrities who have given their time and talent to promote the charitable work of Toys for Tots. In 1983, First Lady Nancy Reagan served as the national spokesperson and First Lady Barbara Bush carried that role in 1992, listing it in her biography as one of her favorite charities.

Southern Theatres, L.L.C. decided to hold this holiday promotion in lieu of their annual Christmas party in New Orleans. George Solomon, Manager of Southern Theatres, L.L.C., said, “In the middle of such tough economic times, we want to give back to the community and offer the same hope found in the message of the film It’s a Wonderful Life. We want to engender a sense of community and belief in the decency of people.” Solomon continued, “This film invites us to remember the truly important and beautiful things in life and that is the sentiment we hope to rekindle by working with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation through this promotion ‘It’s a Grand & Wonderful Life.’”

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