It's a Wonderful Life was shot at the RKO studio in Culver City, California, and the RKO Ranch in Encino, where "Bedford Falls" was a set covering 4 acres (1.6 ha), assembled from three separate parts with a main street stretching 300 yards (three city blocks), with 75 stores and buildings, a tree-lined center parkway and 20 full grown oak trees. For months prior to principal photography, the mammoth set was populated by pigeons, cats and dogs in order to give the "town" a lived-in feel. Due to the requirement to film in an "alternate universe" setting as well as during different seasons, the set was extremely adaptable. RKO created "chemical snow" for the film in order to avoid the need for dubbed dialogue when actors walked across the earlier type of movie snow, made up of crushed cornflakes. Filming started on April 15, 1946 and ended on July 27, 1946, exactly on deadline for the 90-day principal photography schedule.
The RKO ranch in Encino, the filming location of Bedford Falls, was razed in the mid-1950s.[N 8] There are only two surviving locations from the film. The first is the swimming pool that was unveiled during the famous dance scene where George courts Mary. It is located in the gymnasium at Beverly Hills High School and is still in operation as of 2008. The second is the "Martini home", at 4587 Viro Road in La Ca?ada Flintridge, California.
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