When The Valley Film Festival was first founded, one of the main reasons was to correct cinema history. Sort of. For instance, when you think of the classic films Casablanca and It's a Wonderful Life, you think "Hollywood" when you should be thinking Burbank, Van Nuys and Encino...The Valley!
When Isla's plane takes off, leaving a broken-hearted Rick behind on the airstrip in Casablanca, it wasn't from the comforts of the Warner Bros. lot like the rest of the film...in Burbank...but what is now the Van Nuys Airport. The hangar featured in the film has been somewhat preserved and can be viewed from the parking lot of the Airtel Plaza Hotel.
More impressively vexing is that the entire town of Bedford Falls created for It's a Wonderful Life, lies underneath residential homes and Balboa Park in Encino. There, on the corner of Burbank and Balboa Blvd.'s is the former site of the RKO Studio Ranch. We always knew the iconic film was shot in Encino, but where exactly always remained a mystery. Thanks to Van Nuys Boomers for doing the research before us.
For our February and March historical outings, we propose the following:
February 2011: Cocktails at the Clipper Club Lounge where we can view the remains of Casablanca
March 2011: Picnic in Bedford Falls. Pack your lunch and/or bring something to share. VFF will stake out an area just for our friends and we'll toast to all we're grateful for.