I Wanna Know

PW exposes the tricks, scams and truth about the powers that be.

By Sammy Mack
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jan. 28, 2004

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Q: I live in Fox Chase, and outside the city line in Montgomery County, there's this weird, tiny section called Hollywood, right next to Rockledge. I was wondering if you had any info on this section.

A: Hollywood, Pa., is the brainchild of builder Gustav Weber. In the 1920s Weber, who had once been general secretary of the Philadelphia Housing Commission, chose to locate his California-style development in Abington Township. The design included 120 structures evoking the Spanish mission architecture L.A. is known for. Weber applied stucco to the exteriors, and for authenticity, he landscaped with foliage native to California. Weber carried the theme right down to the names of the streets: Los Angeles, Pasadena and San Diego avenues. Though the SoCal flora quickly withered in the Pennsylvania winters, not much else has changed since the development was built. Many of the original homes and businesses are still standing. "I've been here 23, 24 years," says Tommy McFadden, a bartender at the Hollywood Tavern. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has listed the unusual area as eligible for national registry. This means owners of registered buildings can apply for federal incentives to preserve the neighborhood's historical significance.

Q: I've been trying to find more information on a particular film called Maplewoods, which was supposedly filmed locally. Where can I find out more about it?

A: "It was filmed in Bucks County," says David B. Stewart III, the writer and director of Maplewoods, an indie horror flick is set in Doylestown. The plot goes a little something like this: The government tries to recreate Nazi experiments, the tests go awry (as is wont to happen with science projects in horror flicks), flesh-eating zombies get rowdy, and chaos ensues. The film, which was released in August, is now available for sale only on DVD. "Cinemawasteland.com is one of the main e-tailors selling it," says Stewart. The website offers copies for $19.95 plus shipping.

What do you wanna know? Send queries and complaints to Sammy Mack at smack@philadelphiaweekly.com

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