Director Steven Spielberg Saw His First Movie in Westmont, NJ
Did you know Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg's love of film sparked right here in South Jersey?
For about five years of his childhood, Spielberg lived in Camden County. He and his family called Haddon Township home.
You might be thinking, 'How did I never know this?' I didn't either and I consider myself to be an expert on Spielberg's movies.
In 1952, Steven saw his first feature film at the Westmont Theatre on Haddon Avenue. That movie was 'The Greatest Show on Earth' starring Jimmy Stewart and Charlton Heston, Patch.com reports.
That's reportedly the moment Spielberg decided he wanted to make movies of his own.
I have family around Steven's age that lived along Haddon Avenue, and it's crazy but so cool to think of them walking the same streets, seeing the same movies, probably shopping for the same penny candy. Steven's dad worked for a time at the RCA building in Camden, likely at the same time as both my grandparents.
Spielberg's latest project, 'The Fabelmans', is the movie he said he always wanted to make but never had the courage to make. He told CBS News, "Well, it was cathartic for me, certainly. I never took it for granted. I mean, it's a tremendous privilege to — it's like making a movie, you know, and realizing with this movie, what have I just done? Has this been $40 million of therapy?"
The film is largely based on his childhood and the beginnings of his passion for moviemaking. The Westmont Theater makes an appearance in the film, which has earned Steven another seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor.
Side note -- I'm STILL mad his 'Saving Private Ryan' got beat by 'Shakespeare in Love' for Best Picture in 1999.
A plaque of Steven Spielberg was just recently placed outside the Westmont Theatre (which, sadly, is now a Planet Fitness, lol). In a statement, Camden County Commissioner said, "We wanted to honor Spielberg and his connection to South Jersey by installing a commemorative placard at the site where the Westmont Theater once stood."
The 95th Annual Academy Awards are handed out Sunday, March 12th. The ceremony airs on ABC.