History of the Catskills:
Books, Memoirs, Interviews, & Images
Do You Remember?
Hotels & Bungalows
Image Galleries
Local News
Links and Resources

Reports/Papers
Schedules
Order tapes

Mountain Memoirs and Historical Essays

Return to Links

My Parents had a Hotel
a film by Karen Shopsowitz

My Grandparents Had A Hotel by Karen Shopsowitz, is about the "Canadian Catskills," but culturally is so similar to the Ulster/Sullivan Catskills that you can't miss seeing this. In the mid-1930s, Harry and Jennie Shopsowitz bought the Monteith Inn, a hotel located on Lake Rousseau in the Muskokas, a few hours drive north of Toronto. More than 50 years later, their granddaughter, Karen Shopsowitz, decided to make a documentary about the hotel which had become a favourite among Toronto's Jewish community, and which attracted guests from across the province, nearby Quebec, and the northern United States.

Bought largely in response to the restricted policies of the times (and because Jennie had always dreamed of running a hotel), the Monteith Inn was operated by the Shopsowitz family from 1935 to 1949. Using 16mm home movie footage shot by Karen's father, Israel, the documentary includes interviews with former staff and guests, who share their stories about the hotel which became a regular part of their lives each summer. Karen found a lot of the people for the documentary through an ad placed in the local edition of the Canadian Jewish News; within days, she had received dozens of phone calls from people who well remembered the Monteith Inn, and some of them show up on recent footage.

The hotel's history is no doubt similar to that of the hotels of the Catskills, and yes, some stars began their careers at the Monteith Inn and the neighbouring Muskoka House.

In 1949, after Harry and Jennie had both passed away, the hotel was sold, but the memories continue...

My Grandparents Had A Hotel has been shown nationally on CBC and VISION-TV in Canada, as well as on several local Canadian and US stations. It won a Silver Apple at the National Educational Film and Video Festival in Oakland, California and is now in the permanent collection of the Beth Hatefutsoth in Israel. Its original music score won a Gemini award. The video has also been shown at special screenings in the US and Canada, including the Catskills Institute's 2nd Annual History of the Catskills Conference in 1996. In the United States, the 30 minute video is distributed by

My Grandparents Had A Hotel by Karen Shopsowitz, is about the "Canadian Catskills," but culturally is so similar to the Ulster/Sullivan Catskills that you can't miss seeing this. In the mid-1930s, Harry and Jennie Shopsowitz bought the Monteith Inn, a hotel located on Lake Rousseau in the Muskokas, a few hours drive north of Toronto. More than 50 years later, their granddaughter, Karen Shopsowitz, decided to make a documentary about the hotel which had become a favourite among Toronto's Jewish community, and which attracted guests from across the province, nearby Quebec, and the northern United States.

Bought largely in response to the restricted policies of the times (and because Jennie had always dreamed of running a hotel), the Monteith Inn was operated by the Shopsowitz family from 1935 to 1949. Using 16mm home movie footage shot by Karen's father, Israel, the documentary includes interviews with former staff and guests, who share their stories about the hotel which became a regular part of their lives each summer. Karen found a lot of the people for the documentary through an ad placed in the local edition of the Canadian Jewish News; within days, she had received dozens of phone calls from people who well remembered the Monteith Inn, and some of them show up on recent footage.

The hotel's history is no doubt similar to that of the hotels of the Catskills, and yes, some stars began their careers at the Monteith Inn and the neighbouring Muskoka House.

In 1949, after Harry and Jennie had both passed away, the hotel was sold, but the memories continue...

My Grandparents Had A Hotel has been shown nationally on CBC and VISION-TV in Canada, as well as on several local Canadian and US stations. It won a Silver Apple at the National Educational Film and Video Festival in Oakland, California and is now in the permanent collection of the Beth Hatefutsoth in Israel. Its original music score won a Gemini award. The video has also been shown at special screenings in the US and Canada, including the Catskills Institute's 2nd Annual History of the Catskills Conference in 1996.

In the United States, the 30 minute video is distributed by Filmakers Library in New York, 124 E. 40th St., NY, NY 10016. Phone 212-808-4980.