Silver-Screen Sanctuaries

What do you think it is that draws me and others to old homes? Think about some of your favorite movies or tv shows. What kind of home does the lead character live in? I can almost guarantee that it isn’t decked out with your standard popcorn ceilings and mammary-esque light fixtures. Here are some of my favorite on-screen abodes:

Fuller house

Do I even have to point out the one from Full House?

Mindy’s apartment on The Mindy Project is full of fun, quirky, details like her front door and spiral staircase that goes to nowhere. Doesn’t every old house or apartment have something like that that makes no sense?


“Remember the night we broke the windows in this old house? This is what I wished for.”

And my favorite of all time It’s a Wonderful Life. If you haven’t seen this movie, just stop everything you’re doing and watch it right now! There is so much to this movie, but this scene will paint a small picture of it for you: George and Mary Bailey get married and are on their way out of town on their honeymoon. Mary uses their honeymoon money to bail out the old Bailey Building and Loan when the bank calls their loan. The newlyweds then spend their wedding night in the dilapidated Granville house. As rain pours in through the ceiling, Mary hugs George and says “Remember the night we broke the windows in this old house? This is what I wished for.” In addition to the themes of sacrifice, true love, and community, Mary makes this house into a home that symbolizes George Bailey’s relationship to the town of Bedford Falls. It requires work, it has faults, and sometimes it seems like all it does is take. (I think we can all see ourselves in the stair rail cap that keeps falling off!) But in the end, it’s a place like no other where he is truly known and cared for.

Mary Bailey runs up the stairs to George

It may be easy to miss the details in this black and white movie, but look at those inlaid wood floors, the detail on the banister, and the key-hole windows on the door.

And that’s part of what I love about old houses. There are no two just alike and there is so much more to them than just some walls and a floor. What are some of your favorite silver-screen sanctuaries?


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