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February 9, 2015 10:35 pm

Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

avatar by David Meyers

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A Kutsher's postcard. Photo: Mark Kutsher.

Anyone who spent time in the Jewish Catskills hotels – especially those like me, who returned for decades – must see the new documentary,”Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort.”

Not only will the film transport you back to the glory days of your youth and thousands of memories, but it will also make you long for a world that is now lost forever.

I returned to Kutsher’s one last time in the summer of 2009, but by then, the wondrous hotel of my youth had already been ravaged by time and decay. It was like staring directly into the eyes of a ghost.

I feared that it would be my last memory of the Catskills – so thank heavens for this wonderful documentary by Ian Rosenberg and Caroline Laskow.

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Filmed only a few years ago, the camera work and editing are so skilled that you feel you are seeing the hotel near its heyday. “ŽAnd between the archival footage and interviews, you are genuinely transported back to the beautiful country air of Sullivan County, New York.

I watched the film with members of my family, some of whom wiped tears away afterwards. We all felt the same thing: if only we could visit one last time.

Sadly, that will never happen. But this film brought back literally hundreds of good memories. And if I ever have a family of my own, this film will be required viewing.

Visiting hotels such as The Concord and Kutsher’s with my grandparents for more than 20 years was one of the highlights of my life. I owe much to the creators of this film for letting me relive that time again for 70 minutes.

Do not miss this film. Trust me.

Please visit www.kutshersdoc.com for information about upcoming screenings, including starting on February 20 at Movies of Delray in Delray Beach, Florida, and on March 6 at Cinemas Palme d’Or in Palm Desert, California. A DVD release is also planned.

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  • Joel K

    … and a word about the Avon Lodge in Woodridge. Memories of the Arkins, Florence, Bob Marks, Harry Fuchs, Kenny Safchik, and all the good times.

  • Bernard Starr

    Looking forward to viewing the film. It surely will bring back many memories for me. During my college days I worked as a waiter at many of the Catskill hotels including Kutshers, The Concord, Brown’s, Grossingers, and Gibbers. My first gig, when in High School, was at the Colonial Park Hotel in Monticello where two friends and I were the bus boys during the day and the band at night (The Strardust Trio–I was keyboard player).

  • Let us not forget Grossingers a little further up in the Catskills. A wonderful resort.

  • alan bernson

    I live in Boston.

    Is this movie on a disc that I can play in my home ?

    Alan Bernson
    781 322 4423
    factorfund@aol.com

  • Stephen Wolner

    I worked at Kutsher’s from 1957 to 1961. Wilt slept in the same staff house.
    In 2004 I went up for a visit in Nov. For about an hour Helen, Mark and I reminisced about the past. I have photos from that day as well as photos of the dining room staff from the late 50’s if anyone is interested.

    • Joe

      Could you e-mail them to me, I’m a total sucker for these kind of snap shots.

      Kind Regards
      Joe

  • Reform School

    How sad a similar documentary was never made about Tamiment and Unity House

    • Elliott A Green

      Wow, you remember Unity House & Tamiment. Unity House was owned by the union, the Int’l Ladies Garment Workers Union, ILGWU. I went to Unity House in the 1950s with Mom and Dad and a couple who were friends of the family. The husband worked in the garment industry in Philadelphia. I picked up a comic book there that explained a lot of politics and Jewish history for me. That lesson in history in the comic book is still valid.

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