The Jimmy Stewart Museum Faces An Uncertain Future
The museum, which has been open since 1995, is a treasure trove of Stewart memorabilia including costumes, scripts, his childhood bed and even the red leather booth from Chasen's Restaurant in Hollywood where the Stewart family used to dine every week. Even though people are still indulging in the Christmas tradition of watching Stewart's 1946 classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life," that hasn't translated to people visiting the museum.
Museum director Timothy Harley has been appealing for help from local foundations but could use a little divine intervention. The Stewart family donates $25,000 every year and gave the county a $500,000 endowment fund for various agencies and other famous friends of Stewart have helped including impressionist Rich Little, who funded a $20,000 museum canopy, and Nick Clooney, father of actor George, brother of singer Rosemary who provided the audio for a self-guided museum tour. Clooney and Little also co-host the museum's annual dinner. Recently we saw the planned Red Skelton museum get a $1 million gift, perhaps some holiday magic will find its way to the Stewart museum.