The closing of Kutsher’s in 2013 marked the end of an era: The property was the final survivor among the great Catskills hotels that birthed the careers of many 20th-century entertainers and served as a much-needed refuge for immigrant families newly arrived to New York City.
“Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort,” which will be shown on Sept. 13 at the Levis Jewish Community Center in West Boca, documents the 106-year history of the upstate New York landmark and the neighboring hotels that flourished after World War II, when Jewish families, facing anti-Semitism in much of America, sought a safe place to spend the summer.
Former NBA player Wilt Chamberlain once worked as a bellhop at Kutsher’s, and legendary NBA coach Red Auerbach served as its sports director. Entertainers Louis Armstrong, Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld performed in its theater early in their careers.
Catskills resorts began to decline in the 1970s, when a new generation of families chose more exotic destinations for vacations. But the mountains had succeeded in making an indelible impression, with Borscht Belt-style humor, all-you-can-eat menus and all-inclusive resorts living on in American culture for years to come.
“Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort” (2012) was directed and produced by Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort”
WHEN: 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13
WHERE: Beifield Auditorium at the Levis JCC, 21050 95th Ave. S., Boca Raton
INFORMATION: Go to levisjcc.org/culture/films and click on “Purchase Tickets.”
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