BIG NEWS-- An updated version of WELCOME TO KUTSHER'S: THE LAST CATSKILLS RESORT will soon be released in theaters and for sale on DVD/download (Spring 2015) by art house distributor Menemsha Films! This film contains newly discovered archival material as well as a last look at the sale and demolition of Kutsher's. Join our email list to receive the latest details coming soon, by clicking here.
WELCOME TO KUTSHER'S: THE LAST CATSKILLS RESORT
A documentary by Caroline Laskow & Ian Rosenberg
Kutsher's Country Club was the last surviving Jewish resort in the Catskills. One of the legendary Borscht Belt hotels during its heyday, Kutsher's was family-owned and operated for over 100 years. Exploring the full Dirty Dancing-era Catskills experience— and how it changed American pop culture in the comedy, sports and vacation industries— this award-winning documentary captures a last glimpse of a lost world as it disappears before our eyes.
The Catskills resorts were not only a Jewish refuge and family vacation paradise, they also gave birth to American stand-up comedy, an NBA All-Star tradition, and all-inclusive resorts. This film brings to life how Kutsher’s thrived at the center of all this growth and excitement. Watch Wilt Chamberlain both playing ball and working as a bellhop at Kutsher’s; Red Auerbach as the Kutsher’s Sports Director; and Kutsher’s Maurice Stokes benefit game create an All-Star basketball tradition. Laugh with appreciation at Freddie Roman as his classic Borscht Belt routine still brings down the house, and wonder in amazement as Andy Kaufman wrestles a female Kutsher’s guest for $50. Marvel at the abundance of hearty kosher feasts where no one can get away with ordering just one main dish, and the non-stop whirl of recreational activities. And as the Catskills decline, this film provides unprecedented eye-witness documentation of Kutsher's from its 100th anniversary season through the next seven years until the hotel is sold and demolished in 2014. The story of Kutsher’s is uniquely American, unexpectedly moving and a vital chapter – previously unexplored – of the modern Jewish experience.
About the Film:
Directed and Produced by Caroline Laskow & Ian Rosenberg
Edited and Original Music by D.S. Fuller
Distributed by Menemsha Films
Running Time: 72 Minutes
Film Festival Honors:
The New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center - Closing Night Selection
WINNER! BEST DOCUMENTARY Audience Award at Miami Jewish Film Festival
"Elegiac" - The New York Times
"Extraordinary" - The Jewish Voice
"Witty ... Welcome to Kutsher’s has a great deal of charm." - The
"Lovingly lays out the history of the Borscht Belt vacation with a grand smorgasbord of history, photos and film footage, and an appropriate dollop of nostalgic schmaltz."
"The joy of Welcome to Kutsher’s is that it captures what was unique and special about the hotel while also expounding on the larger significance of the Catskills in the American Jewish consciousness." -Jewcy
"Sheds new light on a vibrant chapter of the American Jewish experience." -JNS