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A Jewish Tradition On Christmas In Philadelphia

(Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Combining a movie with Chinese food is one tradition that was alive and well on Christmas Day in Philadelphia.

There’s no particular religious significance to this decidedly Jewish-American tradition as Frank Goodman, who was settling in to see a double feature at the Ritz Five at 2nd and Walnut Streets, points out.

“What else do you do? What else is open on Christmas?” he said. “We just got started doing it. None of us is working and it’s not our holiday, exactly.”

Margot Soven says she and her friends and family have this routine down pat.

“We’re Jewish. We noticed that this is what everybody does on Christmas Day. It’s a tradition that we learned when we moved to Philadelphia.”

As this movie-goer was about to hand the usher his ticket, he quoted from playwright David Mamet about his family’s plans after seeing “Hitchcock”:

“Thank you from the Chinese restaurant association to their Jewish friends.”

Both he and Margot said they were heading to Chinatown after their movies with their families.

One person waiting in line said before she hung up the phone with her mother on a long distance call, her mom asked “what movie are you seeing and what are you ordering for Chinese food?” before she even knew about their Christmas Day plans.

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