Entertaining Is a Family Job for the Franks

Bruce Frank, chairman and CEO of Frank Entertainment Companies, is set to open the newest attraction in Philadelphia: Revolutions.

You say you want a revolution…
Good. That’s where Bruce Frank can help.
Frank, chairman and CEO of Frank Entertainment Companies, is set to open the newest attraction in Philadelphia: Revolutions.
The upscale, boutique bowling-meets-restaurant-meets-entertainment venue will feature music, a sports dining room, a bowling alley and game room in Fishtown.
The multi-level building will also have a Las Vegas-style flair bar with a mixologist specializing in 21 different crafted cocktails. The 52,000-square-foot site will open Sept. 30.
“It’s great for families, it’s great for teenagers and it’s great for adults,” Frank said.
“We chose this development because we believe in this entertainment venue that is going on and this resurgence of living in the city of Philadelphia and, of course, Fishtown, having grown up in the area we knew very well,” he said of the venue that will neighbor The Fillmore, the Punch Line and Philadelphia Distilling in Penn Treaty.
Although now based in Jupiter, Fla., building this new Revolutions in Philadelphia is a homecoming for Frank, who was born and raised in Ventnor, N.J., and lived in Rittenhouse Square for some time.
But when Frank Entertainment first began in 1906, the family business was just getting its feet wet.
The business has always centered around entertainment, specifically cinema, bowling and arcades.
Frank’s grandfather, Samuel, started the company more than 100 years ago, and also built the first “talkie” movie theater in Philadelphia, followed by a second one in Berlin, N.J. That’s when the rest of the theaters started to spread across the shore.
“Every theater along the Jersey Shore at one time belonged to the family,” Frank said, going as far north as Woodbridge and all the way to Cape May.
“What it means to me is to take what my parents and what my grandfather started and spread that throughout the country,” he continued. “When I took over [in 1980], we operated in one state. We were based in New Jersey. We now operate in 13 states across the country.”
His oldest son now works in the company managing social media accounts, which Frank thinks is great because “they just do it better than we do,” he laughed.
Frank added that they will announce the opening of two more cinemas next month in addition to the five venues already in Philadelphia.
Growing up down the shore impacted Frank’s Jewish identity as well.
“The family has always been very involved in the various community efforts, whether it was Beth Judah down at the Jersey Shore, which we were members of the temple there for many, many years,” he recalled, or whether it was other communities like Congregation Rodeph Shalom where he got married.
“We involve ourselves in different events that will involve Jewish traditions, Jewish charities,” he continued. “It’s a way of life for us that allows us to have summer camps that come to our facilities, both cinema and bowling, which are very important to families, especially to working families.”
Growing up Jewish and swarmed by cinema, Frank said it made an impact on his favorite memories and moments, like allowing “The Jazz Singer to be one of my favorite movies,” in which his grandfather was actually the original double for Al Jolson.
“We have a long line of involvement in the community and in our heritage. It’s a lot to do with our work ethics. It’s a lot to do with who we are as people. So being Jewish made me who I am.
“To us, being Jewish is about heritage. It’s about continuing … You talk about the responsibility, especially around Jewish holidays — and we’re heading there now — and at that time of year it’s the obligation to tell the story, to talk about our history, to talk about our legacy, to talk about what we went through to be Jews, to remain Jews, to thrive as Jews. Telling the story as we do through entertainment, through socialization, through involvement in organizations of every religion, I think it allows me to continue telling the story of my family. So that’s heritage.” 
Contact: rkurland@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0737


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