Two Philly Food Favorites: Hires Root Beer and TastyKake

Moviehouse Productions presents stories of the origins of two Philadelphia delights, Hires Root Beer and Tastykake.

A druggist by trade and brilliant marketer, Charles Elmer Hires, transformed a volatile ancient brew of roots and berries into a beloved American soft drink.

Philip Bauer and Herbert Morris overcame indifference and neglect in Philadelphia’s baking industry to give birth to TastyKake, the “cake that made mother stop baking.”

So… maybe you washed down your TastyKake with a Hires Root Beer, or perhaps with a big glass of milk in front of your black and white ‘TV”…either way, you enjoyed!!!

Philadelphia Radio: The Early Days

Moviehouse Productions proudly presents “Philadelphia Radio: The Early Days.” This documentary recounts the fascinating story of Philly’s development as a important force in radio from the 1920’s through the early 1960’s.

“Excitement” was the key word as Philly pioneered department store radio stations and big band remotes, boosted “talk radio” into the national consciousness, brought women in the broadcasting mainstream and established the FM signal as the clear choice for superior commercial radio sound.

Moviehouse Productions applauds the outstanding ongoing contributions of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. We appreciated the opportunity to interview several of their key members during the 1990’s to learn how each made radio history. The interviewees stories have been presented by Moviehouse Productions via lecture to numerous community groups throughout the years. In 2022, we are pleased to bring this work to video.

Our interviewees were:

Jack Steck- producer and director from the dawn of radio age through the birth of television
Taylor Grant- outstanding and outspoken sportscaster, newscaster, and commentator
Ed Harvey- established WCAU as the national leader in talk radio.
Marge Wieting- pioneering woman “disc jockey”
Jerry Lee- the “Father” of modern FM radio

“Philadelphia Radio: The Early Days” is beamed to you by “WNBP (Nostalgic Broadcasting in Philadelphia). “WNBP” is Moviehouse Productions’ station which transmits from the Sears Tower in Northeast Philadelphia. The Sears Tower was demolished in 1994, but some claim its broadcast signals are still perceptible on the Roosevelt Boulevard.

From the Graveyard of Lost Television: “Aunt Bea”Wronged!

Francis Bavier starred as “Aunt Bea” in the iconic 1960’s “Andy Griffith Show”. Bavier had several lesser known roles in 1950’s television shows, including three appearances on Jack Webb’s “Dragnet”. Due to a serious titling error in Dragnet’s 1953’s “The Big False Make”, Bavier was forever denied credit for this impressive small screen characterization.

Three Slices of Philly Pie

Elizabeth Coane Goodfellow invented the lemon pudding pie, the forerunner of the lemon meringue pie. MOVIEHOUSE PRODUCTIONS presents a tribute to Mrs. Goodfellow with its fanciful “Three Slices of Philly Pie”. “Slices” of old Philadelphia neighborhood life are presented in the Northeast’s Wissinoming section, in North Philly’s Brewerytown and in West Philadelphia.

Two Philly Shorts: The Baseball Ladies of Fishtown, 1943 Congressional Limited Crash

Moviehouse Productions interviewed two Philadelphians about their remarkable stories from long ago. Ida Fleming discussed hand-making major league baseballs in the Great Depression from her Fishtown home. Pennsylvania Railroader Albert “Jeff” Carlin eye-witnessed the disastrous 1943 crash of the Congressional Limited at Frankford Junction.

Digging for Gold: The Story of Harry Gold, NE Philly’s Atom Spy

A profile of Northeast Philadelphia’s Harry Gold, a key player in the notorious 1950’s Rosenberg Atom Spy Case. Gold’s involvement led to the indictment, trial and eventual execution of the Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, the only Americans executed in “peace time” for espionage. Because of Gold’s involvement in this infamous affair Gold’s important public health work is largely overlooked.

Diane’s North Philly

Moviehouse Productions paints a nostalgic picture of growing up in North Philadelphia’s Broad Street and Lehigh Avenue section in the 1950’s and ’60’s. The story is told by Diane P. Brown, a proud lifelong N. Philly resident. The video offers a fond look back at a close knit area…strong family and neighbors, the hustle/bustle  of a thriving business center, the excitement of being a soulful sounds music center and living with walking distance of a baseball shrine.

Sites visited include N. Philly’s garment center at Broad and Lehigh, the Uptown Theater, Broad and Dauphin and Connie Mack Stadium, 21st and Lehigh.

Remembered: Philadelphia’s Old Strawberry Mansion Neighborhood

“Radio Rick” Spector’s mom, Sylvia, poses with his sister , Marsha, 1943. The picture was snapped at “Rodeo Ben’s”, America’s premier purveyor of western wear, 3209 Columbia Avenue, Strawberry Mansion, Philadelphia.

Old Strawberry Mansion was a historic North Philadelphia neighborhood. Moviehouse Productions’ special guest is Shelly Rosen who related her experiences growing up in the “Mansion” between 1940-1956.

The western boundary of Strawberry Mansion has been updated to include a section of 34th Street just south of Lehigh Avenue.

“Working in Philly” Stories: Bond Bread and the Aldine Theater

Philadelphia is a hard working town. MOVIEHOUSE PRODUCTIONS presents two tales from our city’s busy and productive past.

Bob Frank and Hal and Elsie Oetzel shared memories of NE Philly’s Crescentville’s Bond Bread “Great North” plant.

Allen Goodkin ushered and was assistant manager of the Aldine Theater, 19th and Chestnut Streets, 1933-1942. Goodkin reminisced about the fine art of ushering in this video.