Friday, July 25, 2014
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Thee Shop Plaza barbershop becomes a movie set

It's already a fixture in Mantua, with celebrity customers like Phillies Ryan Howard and Ben Francisco. And now the Thee Shop Plaza barbershop, at 33rd and Spring Garden streets, is getting ready for a starring role in a feature film by Rel Dowdell.

Thee Shop Plaza barbershop becomes a movie set

It's already a fixture in Mantua, with celebrity customers like Phillies Ryan Howard and Ben Francisco. And now the Thee Shop Plaza barbershop, at 33rd and Spring Garden streets, is getting ready for a starring role in a feature film by Rel Dowdell.

Dowdell is a Germantown native with one film under his belt: "Train Ride," which was well-reviewed as a DVD and had a small theatrical release. He has a master's degree in filmmaking from Boston University, and one Boston critic puts his work in the same league as Spike Lee's and John Singleton's.

Thee Shop Plaza caught Dowdell's eye when he was scouting locations for his second movie, "Changing the Game," about a young man from North Philly who becomes a success on Wall Street. Rapper Sticky Fingaz has one of the lead roles, as a barber.

Besides big-name athletes, the Philly shop's customers include community titans like Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers and educator Chuck Williams. Dowdell is also a client. "It's a conversational atmosphere. Everyone knows everyone," he said. "All the barbers have their own unique personalities."

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Dowdell said he enjoyed shooting the film in Philly this summer and talking with kids whose curiosity led them to his movie set at Thee Shop Plaza. "I'm sure at least one kid has been inspired to become a filmmaker," he said.

Sarah Glover
About this blog

Sarah J. Glover is a Daily News staff photographer. She shoots photos, videos, and microblogs with passion. Sarah is a big Phillies fan and her favorite color is purple.

To celebrate the people and places in the patchwork quilt that we in the Philly region call home, Sarah is hitting the road to bring you her "On Location" video column.

Where should Sarah go next? Let her know about the people in your neighborhood who deserve a turn in the spotlight. She’d love to put them on the map.

Sarah Glover
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