Yesterday, after enjoying our Jim’s Steak (whiz wit), we walked up 4th St., passing by the former TLA Video at 517 S. 4th Street. There was a flurry of construction inside, and it looked like the workers were putting up a partition to split the vacant space into two. The newly divided space looks so narrow, what types of stores could use it?
TLA was located in The Foremost Building, a historic 36,500 square foot building now owned by Scimeca Foundation Inc, out of Media, PA. Originally a Jewish immigrant hall dating back to 1896, it has been anything and everything from a Jewish newspaper office, to a wedding banquet hall, a produce market, wallpaper factory, to lastly the Foreman Meat Factory, which closed in 1977 and was renovated into what you see today, a mixed use retail and office complex, one of the largest of its kind in the Society Hill neighborhood (source: International Artist Studio).
The building has housed other well known tenants like The Underground Art Museum, Bella Boutique, The Curiosity Shoppe, Azuka Theatre, and Hocus Pocus Magic Shop. Many artists, filmmakers, actors, writers, and designers have passed through The Foremost Building, creating a rich cultural history. In the past, Will Smith leased an office in this building. Rocky was filmed in the original meat factory. TLA Video not only rented movies, but also founded two well-known independent film festivals. Although they are sorely missed by this community, we can only hope that the next tenant to fill its space will bring something new and needed to South St.