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.
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.
Saint John Neumann established the Beneficial Savings Fund Society as a safe haven for Philadelphia immigrants to save their money. WSFS absorbed Beneficial in 2019, but the old Beneficial buildings remain as an important part of the fabric of the city.
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?
Burt describes his “wonder years” growing up in West Philadelphia, 1940-1955, including his great days at West Philadelphia High School. The popular song “All the Things You Are” wafts over and through his memories.
Philadelphian David Raksin (1912-2004) was an outstanding film composer, with over four hundred movie and television scores to his credit. He is most noted for arranging the music for Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” and for writing the haunting score for the film “Laura”. Among his many honors, Mr. Raksin was elected to the Central High School Hall of Fame in 1979.
The story of Philadelphia’s original Northeast High School, 8th St. and Lehigh Avenue in Philadelphia. Northeast High moved to a new building at Cottman St. and Algon Avenue in 1957. Before the Lehigh Avenue property was razed it was occupied by Thomas Edison High School and the Julia De Burgos Middle School.