Fox and Sameric Movie Theaters
I saw the first Superman, with Christopher Reeve, at the Fox on Market Street, and went to a ton of other films at the many Samerics around Center City. Now if I want to see a blockbuster downtown, Iâ€™m forced to risk my life in West Philly or on Delaware Avenue. Really? With all those boomers migrating into the city, thereâ€™s not room for a couple of good first-run movie theaters near Rittenhouse Square?
Horn & Hardart
By the time my 82-year-old Uncle Irving introduced me to this institution, the vending/buffet chain was on its last legs. And so was he. Yet here I am, 30 years later, feasting almost weekly at the Chinese and Old Country buffets that dominate the â€™burbs. The tide has turned, and a revitalized H&H would be a hit. Mmm â€¦ Salisbury steak!
As a kid, Iâ€™d take what few quarters I had and waste them away after school at this dark amusement arcade that sat on Chestnut Street. Bring it back! With a little (no check that â€¦ a lot of) security, better lighting and bright colors, a well-run chain of amusement arcades may be the answer to keeping those gangs of bored kids from roaming the streets this summer.
Okay, maybe I have a soft spot because I had my bar mitzvah there in 1978. (True fact: Bobby Rydell performed, although he wasnâ€™t specifically hired by my parents.) But where have all the cool big-band, live-singing nightclubs gone? Bring back a Palumboâ€™s and watch how many stars swing by post-A.C.
If theyâ€™re closed, then whoâ€™s making the cocktail sauce Iâ€™m still buying at the Acme? Câ€™mon, this brand is as Philly as you can get. Just because the Taxins didnâ€™t have a clue doesnâ€™t mean some other smart restaurateur couldnâ€™t restore this institution to its past glory. This city cries out for a true seafood house by the river.
The Forum Adult Film Theatre
Wait, thatâ€™s still on Market Street? In the age of the Internet? Respect to the owner, whoever he is. Weâ€™ve all got something to learn from him.
This article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of Philadelphia magazine.