Empty storefronts are a problem in many growing communities like East Falls — not just vacancies, but also finding the right businesses to ensure lively streetscapes & commerce, while preserving our historic buildings and regional charm.

Was East Falls always so tricky for development?

We might not have answers but in the spirit of Throwback Thursday, here’s a run-down of East Falls businesses from 80+ years ago — at least, those advertising in a 1933 program of Redeemer Lutheran Church‘s romantic comedy “Moon Shy,” performed in Palestine Hall (the Mason/OddFellows building’s 2nd floor theatre).

The structure also once housed Brownworth photography studio, plus a church and halls for Masonic-type rituals & meetings. This corner of Ridge & Midvale still bustles with activity, but was a day not that long ago when shops and services of all kinds peppered our neighborhood streets, up and down the hills:  tailors, beauty salons, delicatessens…

These days, “walkability” is a huge buzzword in community planning: from Baby Boomers to Millennials, home buyers are seeking community-driven spaces, with houses and parks and businesses all mixed in. Sounds a lot like East Falls was, 80 years ago.

(Below) : Searchable List of East Falls Businesses advertising in the 1933 playbill of Redeemer Lutheran Church’s romantic comedy, “Moon Shy,” performed in Palestine Hall at Ridge & Midvale 

Note: Transcription of Text Provided Beneath Scanned Images

Diamonds – Watches – Jewelry – Silverware

3343 West Penn Street



Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Clayton Brother’s Meats & Groceries


35th (Conrad) and Bowman

Welsh’s Restaurant


4213 Ridge Avenue

East Falls Tailor

Nick Matregano

Cleaning, Pressing, Repairing, Shoe Repair


3654 Midvale Ave

Falls Pharmacy


Ridge & Queen Lane

Quality Shoe Service, two locations:

35th/Conrad and Ainslie Streets


4131 Ridge Ave

Heimlich’s Department Store


4225 Ridge Ave

McDermott & Fitzpatrick

Breyer’s Ice Cream


35th/Conrad & Sunnyside

William Turner



4170 Ridge Ave

McLaren & Leach

Groceries & Delicatessen


35th/Conrad above Indian Queen Lane

Manor Pastry Shop

Bread – Rolls – Pies – Cakes


Tilden Street near Vaux

Wood’s Beauty Shop


3638 Midvale Ave

Brown’s Fresh Cut Flowers

3720 Midvale Ave

Greeting Cards

Jim Homeyard

Fruit and Produce

Fish & Oysters in Season

Ridgeway Shoe Repair and Tailoring

Cleaners and Dryers

3728 Midvale Ave

Hyde Delicatessen


3481 Tilden Street

George Walker Quality Coal


Bowman & Cresson Streets

East Falls Lumber Company


Indian Queen Lane & Wiehle St

P.J. Kelly, Florist


3903 Ridge Ave

America Hall Garage


3316 North 35th/Conrad Street

Falls Hardware Co.

Ridge & Midvale Aves

Falls Barber Shop


3780 Midvale Ave

Leo Roberts, Prop. & HC. Shires Hair Dressing



4153 Ridge Ave

James T. Fieldler DRUGS Prescriptions Compounded


4243 Ridge Ave

MacFadyen and Grady Restaurant


3751 Midvale Ave

Freedman Surgeon Dentist


Corner of Midvale & Ridge Aves

Althofer’s Electric Shop


Vaux & Ainslie Streets

Appliance repair and wiring of all descriptions

Manor Delicatessen and Grocery


Vaux and Sunnyside Aves

Dr. David Shuman Osteopathic Physician


3447 Queen Lane

Manor Beauty Shop

Marcel Waving, Facial, Manicuring,

Shampooing. Finger Waving, Eyebrow Arching,

Hennas, Hot Oil Treatments


3517 Indian Queen Lane

Wesley Foster Plumbing, Heating & Roofing


4259 Ridge Ave

Midvale Fancy Fruit & Produce

All Kinds of Seafood in Season


3722 Midvale Ave

Sownden’s Market

Fine Meats & Provisions


3423 35th/Conrad Street & 5237 Ridge Ave

East Falls Jeweler

Watch, Clock, Optical Repairs


3506 Sunnyside Ave

Manor Tailor Shop

Ladies’ and Gents’


3500 Vaux Street

Maguire & O’Rourke

Meats Noted for Quality


3618 Calumet Street

Ester’s Home Beauty Salon


3787 Midvale Ave

Hemstitiching, Cloth Coat Re-Lining & Repair


4178 Ridge

East Falls Supply Co.


4164 Ridge Ave

Falls Ice Co.


Ridge Ave

Riviera Beauty Box


4251 Ridge Ave

Harry R. Smith

Real Estate, Insurance, Auto Licenses


3733 Midvale Ave

The Gateway Delicatessen