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Remembering the Family Store Documentary

This is a special documentary created by a team of JHS volunteers and a wonderful award-winning filmmaker. Marge Costa of Aries Productions has brought her magic to the screen to tell the story of the family store. This project evolved from a second generous grant from the Community Arts Partnership Program (CAPP) from the City of Stamford. With a priceless selection of photos from our JHS Archives, the Stamford History Center, the Urban Redevelopment Commission, and donated photos from the public, a story evolves of a cherished history of the downtown Stamford family store existing in the quarter century period of 1940-1965.

“Remembering the Family Store, Downtown Stamford circa 1940-1965” features favorite businesses serving the Stamford population with that hometown feeling. Our collection of photos captures the thriving “downtown” of Stamford before the dramatic change to make way for the urban redevelopment of Stamford. Before the Stamford Town Center, before the towering high-rise apartments, the corporate buildings, there was downtown bustling metropolis of independently owned family stores where the owner would greet and serve you!

Our documentary is a nostalgic reminiscence of Stamford’s family stores and a stroll down our merchants’ memory lane in the immediate downtown. For those who are new to our community, our documentary will be a tale of what was here before you arrived.

The film is dedicated to the memory of our very own Lester Sharlach z’l. This tribute to our past happened with his photography, passion and commitment to our community.

For the JHSFC, this documentary has been a true labor of love. It began as a historic collection of still photographs curated by one of our esteemed founders, the late Lester Sharlach. The film is a culmination of his dream. Supported in part by a generous grant from Stamford Arts and Cultural Commission, as well as other corporate and private donors, a living history of Stamford took shape, complete with iconic photographs, never-before-told stories and engaging interviews. Its successful completion was led by a JHSFC board member, Gail G. Trell, producer; Margaret Stapor Costa, director; Steve Karp, scriptwriter and narrator; Bernie Weiss, photographer; Stuart Adelberg, Avon Executive Director and numerous JHSFC volunteers.

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