What if you’d never existed? That’s the question explored by George Bailey (James Stewart) when his wish is granted by a guardian angel in Frank Capra’s classic film It’s a Wonderful Life. It owes something to A Christmas Carol in affirming an individual’s power to make a difference for good or ill. And what if this movie had never existed? Then it wouldn’t be shown every Christmas or be one of Hollywood’s most beloved tearjerkers. It wasn’t quite a failure in 1946 — it earned five Oscar nominations — but like the discouraged George, it took a while to understand how many people loved it and how much poorer their lives would be if they’d missed it. Hemisfair and Slab Cinema close out the 2016 edition of Southtown Cinema with a free outdoor screening of the holiday favorite. Alamo Drafthouse screens the classic at all three San Antonio locations on Christmas Eve.