Packin' Up
Licensed and Registered

We Live On A Movie Studio

We are slowly getting unpacked, slowly getting organized, and slowly putting up the art. At this moment Joe is hooking up the secondary speakers to our stereo so we will have ersatz surround sound and immersive audio-video experiences. (Heh.)

We've been back to the house once, to pick up another carload of stuff, vacuum, and clean. That was last weekend. This weekend the weather was monsoon-like, so we opted to stay here and unpack some more. I got the walk-in closet arranged and ordered -- and I am stupidly proud of how it looks -- and we unpacked the last of the shoes and clothes.

We also drove all around the area, through Audubon and Phoenixville and Collegeville, and discovered the big outlet mall and several beautiful old houses. This is a really lovely area!

There are a couple of old buildings in our immediate neighborhood, right here by the river. One looks rather barracks-like; it stands behind a more modern brick building that houses the realty company that built our complex. The other is a weird little structure, perched up high on a sort of platform.

Well, these two building were enough to spark Joe's curiousity, so off he went a-Googling.

It turns out that we live on the site of one of first movie studios! Yes! The Betzwood Studios, owned and run by Siegmund Lubin, turned out two-reeler Westerns, melodramas, and comedies from 1912 until the early 1920s.Thanks to folks at the Montgomery County Community College, you can even watch a few of the films.

Betzwood Studios (credit to the website)

Our very building sits adjacent to where the boathouse stood. It served as a bunkhouse for the cowboy actors, who apparently were rather crude, rude, and unrefined.

And the other, weird little building? It was a sluice gate! There used to be a dam near the boathouse, and the sluice gate diverted water to power turbines that generated electricity to run the lights in the studios.

I think it's really cool to be living on such a neat historical piece of land. If this damn rain ever stops, I'll walk around and imagine the raucous cowboys and film pioneers making movies in the early 20th century.

Lights, camera, action!