Monday, June 22, 2009

It's a "Wonderful" Swim Gym in Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills High School, Swim Gym (From It's a Wonderful Life)
The other day I was driving past my friend's old home in Beverly Hills and decided to take a side street past Beverly Hills High School. I figured while I was over here I should take some pictures of this school that has been featured several times on film and television, most notably for classic film fans for the appearance of the "Swim Gym" in Frank Capra's, It's a Wonderful Life.
Beverly Hills High School Swim Gym, 241 Moreno Drive
Do you remember the scene where Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed are doing the Charleston on the basketball court, when suddenly, the floor opens to reveal a swimming pool? Well, that scene was filmed inside the Beverly Hills High School Swim Gym which you can see in the above photos. This gym has a basketball court with a swimming pool underneath - the floor can open and turn into a pool! I still think that is pretty impressive now for a high school gym let alone for a high school gym back in 1947 when the film was released.
Here's a video of the "Bailey Kids" reunited in 1993 showing the Swim Gym as it appeared then. Also in the video is a clip from It's a Wonderful Life showing the Swim Gym as it appeared in the film.

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