Friday, July 31, 2015

Mad Men-era "Salute to Cherry Hill"

A black-and-white glimpse through rose-colored glasses

Mad Men-era "Salute to Cherry Hill"

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You can almost hear the narrator smiling above the tsunami of strings as the tiki-themed Hawaiian Cottage restaurant on Route 38 shimmers into view.

It's the mid-1960s, and "Cherry Hill seems to have everything in equitable abundance" proclaims "Salute to Cherry Hill," a promotional film made by Philadelphia's WFIL (now WPVI) TV.

A black-and-white landscape of utter wonderfulness as seen through rose-colored glasses, this kitsch classic is now playing in three parts on YouTube; I stumbled across it on a Facebook page celebrating Cherry Hill nostalgia.

Even before Mad Men began to obsessively/ironically de-idealize the '60s for our entertainment, websites enshrined the memorabilia of that era, pop culture-wise and otherwise. There are hundreds if not thousands of rather cluelessly optimistic clips like "Salute to Cherry Hill, NJ" on YouTube and elsewhere.

But despite the shameless boosterism and sensationally wooden script - "every phase of modern learning receives extraordinary attention in this forward-looking community" - the "Salute" to South Jersey's signature suburb captivates.

Looking back, the future never seemed brighter.

Inquirer Columnist
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About this blog
Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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