Update: TCM Brings MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET to Macy’s 34th Street

TreeUpdated 11/21/14 w/ pictures and video from the screenings. 

“This is quite an opportunity!” Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) tells Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) when she offers him a job “playing” Santa in MIRACLE ON 34th STREET (1947).

The same might be said for Turner Classic Movies, which has announced a full day of screenings of the Christmas classic outside the iconic department store in which it’s set – Macy’s Herald Square in New York City. On Thursday, November 20th, TCM will present MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET seven times, with on-air host Robert Osborne introducing the 6:15 p.m. 6:00 p.m. screening live.  (No word yet on whether he’ll arrive by sleigh.)

MIRACLE ON 34th STREET will screen at 8:15 a.m, 10:00 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. in beautiful black-and-white on a large LED screen outside in Herald Square Plaza on Broadway between 34th and 35th streets. (This is the area in which Macy’s stages musical numbers for their annual Thanksgiving Day parade.) Limited seating will be available to the public, but fans are permitted to bring chairs of their own to insure seating (just not this one). Macy’s is accessible via the B/D/F/M/Q/R and PATH trains to 34th Street and 6th Avenue, or the 1/2/3/A/C/E, Amtrak, and New Jersey Transit to Penn Station at 34th and 7th Avenue.

In addition to Osborne’s appearance, the 6:15 p.m. 6:00 p.m. showing will kick off with “a special holiday greeting on behalf of TCM and Macy’s” and an appearance by Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (essentially the job Maureen O’Hara’s character had in the film). And all screenings are FREE.

So what exactly is the “opportunity” here for TCM?

77173-004-FAA96EFDThe network does not currently control broadcast rights to MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, so this day-long marathon is the only chance to connect the TCM brand with one of the best-known Holiday films of all time. For reasons that are beyond my comprehension, viewers who avoid older films like sour egg nog most of the year often rediscover a select few during the Christmas season. Films that benefit from this – IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) on NBC, WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954) on AMC, A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983) on TBS – tend to become viewing traditions for families, and can help to introduce new fans to the classics.

And what better way to initiate an old-movie-weirdo-in-training than by watching a great old movie with other fans (weird or otherwise)? Whether it’s at an historic theater in Hollywood as part of TCM’s annual Classic Film Festival, or outside Macy’s during the Holidays, this is one of the things TCM does best: creating live experiences that transcend the television.

“It’s our mission to share the greatest movies of all time with new audiences,” newly minted TCM general manager Jennifer Dorian said in a statement. “And this is a treat for the whole family.”

Best of all: the forecast calls for unseasonably mild temperatures on November 20. That truly is a Christmas miracle.

PicUPDATE 11/20/14

Here are my Instagram shots from the 1:30 p.m. screening:

TCM_001 TCM_002 TCM_003 TCM_004 TCM_005Update 11/21/14 

Watch my video of Robert Osborne’s introduction to the evening screening here.




About willmckinley

I'm a New York City-based writer, video producer, print journalist, radio/podcast host, and social media influencer. I've been a guest on Turner Classic Movies (interviewed by Robert Osborne), NPR, Sirius Satellite Radio, and the official TCM podcast. My byline has appeared in Slate.com and more than 100 times in the pages of NYC alt weeklies like The Villager and Gay City News. I'm also a social media copywriter for Sony's getTV and a contributor to four film-and-TV-related books: "Monster Serial," "Bride of Monster Serial," "Taste the Blood of Monster Serial," and "Remembering Jonathan Frid."
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12 Responses to Update: TCM Brings MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET to Macy’s 34th Street

  1. ross says:

    Let’s meet Kris for some date nut bread with cream cheese at Chock Full O’ Nuts.

  2. Lindsey says:

    Wishing I lived in NY right now! This sounds like it’ll be such a fun event!

  3. Kelly says:

    I wish I do live in NYC I am here in SO CAL that so cutee

    NOO we are not will we just old school sometime old school works LOL!

    Like Uncle Si Robertson once said on Duck Dynasty I may be old inside of me I am 10 year old kid LOL!

  4. Kelly says:

    BTW Will I hear that Movies tv network going show cult classic Santa Claus the movie with Dudley MOore at 5:30pm est on Thanksgiving day then 8pm est they show cartoon classic Charoltee Web check your local listings for Movies tv station

  5. This is fantastic! Hope you have a wonderful time, Will (I know you’ll be going) x

  6. This sounds absolutely marvelous. Brilliant idea! You’ll be sharing your experiences, right, with those of us unable to go?

  7. Looks like a great time, Will! I hope you get to stick around until RO makes his appearance.

  8. Kelly says:

    Speaking of holiday rarities look like Gettv score the right of rarely seen Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby Christmas special from late 1950s


  9. svasthayoga says:

    does anyone know who DOES have the rights and when this movie will be aired this season?

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