Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

For fans of holiday classics, Christmas is coming early on Sunday, Dec. 16, when the Louisville Palace dangles a delightful doubleheader under its mistletoe. 

Quotable comedy “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” is up first at 2 p.m., followed by the beloved classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” at 5 p.m. Tickets are $8 for each film. 

“Christmas Vacation” was first released in 1989 and is solely responsible for coining the phrases “It’s a bit nipply out” and “Sh#tter’s full.” Written by John Hughes and directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik, the film was No. 3 in the National Lampoon’s series and starred Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo and Randy Quaid. 

Donna Reed and James Stewart

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is Frank Capra’s 1946 classic that stars James Stewart and Donna Reed. The story of redemption and human perseverance is a favorite of many, especially during the holidays.

While both of these films can be caught on television and streaming services just about anytime this month, to see them on the Palace’s big screen — as they were intended — along with a room full of friends and strangers is a rare opportunity.

If you’re still warming up to the Christmas spirit, spending Sunday afternoon with these two classics will no doubt ignite that fire. 

And if you need more time with big-screen classics, the following Sunday the Palace will screen “The Muppet Christmas Carol” from 1992 and “White Christmas” from 1954. 

Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle ( She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."