Remembering George “Bon Bon” Tunnell: Outstanding South Philly Swing and Big Band Era Entertainer

Moviehouse Productions “Lost Philly Films” explores the life and career of George “Bon Bon” Tunnell, outstanding South Philly singer and entertainer. Mr. Tunnell was popular in the eras spanning the Golden Age of 1920’s radio through the Swing and Big Band eras of the 1930’s – 1940’s. Courageous and tenacious, George Tunnell was one of the first African Americans to sing with a white band, Jan Savitt and His Top Hatters. Expertly leading us through our nostalgic musical journey is Mike Zirpolo, producer of the “Swing and Beyond” blog. Visit Mike’s informative site at: https://swingandbeyond.com/

Show Biz South Philly

South Philadelphia is world renowned for its rich cultural history including being the birthplace of many magnificent show business personalities. Courtesy of Moviehouse Productions and “5th and Ritner” Trolley Tours, stop by the homes and learn the stories of some of the greats, including Eddie Fisher, Joey Bishop, Marion Anderson and Mario Lanza. Expert tour commentary is provided by South Philly author Harry Martin Polis, David McKnight of the University of Pennsylvania and Bill Ronayne of the Mario Lanza Institute and Museum. The tour begins at the historic Broadway Theater, Broad Street and Snyder Avenue and concludes with memories of the Ideal “movie”, more commonly known as the “I-Dump”, 6th and Jackson Streets.

For Further Information:

Mario Lanza Institute and Museum:

Mario Lanza Institute

Marion Anderson Collection at the University of Pennsylvania:

https://www.library.upenn.edu/collections/special-notable/groups/marian-anderson-collection

“Phorgotten ” Philly Water Towers

In the midst of a searing heatwave, MOVIEHOUSE PRODUCTIONS provides relief by sharing tales of Philadelphia’s “phorgotten” water towers. Not only were these towers key for commerce, but they were familiar neighborhood landmarks as well. They pumped the fluid of life to our homes and industries. Special tribute is paid to the great Chestnut Hill water tower.

Phorgotten Towers

 

Ode to the “Jolly Mon”: A Lost Philly Mini-Golf Course

Miniature golf was the first huge  recreational fad of the Great Depression.  The “Jolly Mon”,  which opened in 1934 as the “South Seas”,  was part of the “wave” which allowed the struggling masses to live out their country club fantasies. Jolly Mon was a prominent Roosevelt Boulevard landmark. Its appeal continued for decades.

 

monkey cage

Philadelphia’s Vanishing Jewish Restaurants: Bernie Uhr’s Story.

 

 

Bernie Uhr shared the story of “Uhr’s”, Philadelphia’s most revered Jewish restaurant and catering establishment. Beloved institutions like Uhr’s have nearly disappeared from Philly’s cultural landscape.
Uhr’s was opened by Bernie’s father “Jack” in 1919 in South Philadelphia as “Uhr’s Original Roumanian Restaurant”. Trolleys brought patrons to Uhr’s from many Philly neighborhoods including Strawberry Mansion, Logan and South Philly. Local crime and Jewish resettlement forced Uhr’s to relocate to an old theater in Philly’s Wynnefield section. “Uhr’s” is long gone; its historic Wynnefield home is now a senior apartment building.

Want to learn more about Philadelphia Jewish History?

Visit:   http://www.phillyjewishhistory.com/