SAMUEL VARBALOW was born in the Ukraine in 1891. His family came to Camden when in 1904, and settled in Cramer Hill three years later.
Samuel Varbalow built many homes throughout Camden and was the founder and owner of the Savar Corporation, which operated as many as 30 movie theatres through Camden. He was also deeply involved in the affairs of the Jewish community in Camden. Last a resident of 2602 Baird Boulevard in East Camden, he passed away on January 31, 1954, in Philadelphia. His younger brother, Joseph Varbalow, was a prominent lawyer, and at one time served as a judge in Camden. His other brother, Harry Varbalow, was a founding member of Congregation Beth El.
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Camden Courier-Post - February 1, 1954
Varbalow Fatally Stricken in Hospital
Samuel Varbalow, 62, pioneer home builder in this area and prominent independent theatre chain operator, and an outstanding leader of Camden's Jewish community died suddenly Sunday night.
Death came to the unassuming leader at 6:12 PM in the Albert Einstein Medical Center, Northern Division, where he had been a patient for more than a week for treatment of a gall bladder condition. His death followed a heart attack, doctors said.
Services will be held Wednesday at 2:00 PM in the Berschler Funeral Home, 1401-03 Princess Avenue. Rabbi Naftoli Riff, of the Congregation Sons of Israel, and Rabbi Harry S. Kellman, of the Congregation Beth El, will officiate. Burial will be in Crescent Burial Park, Pennsauken.
There will be a viewing at the funeral home from 2:00 to 3:00 PM Wednesday.
Shiva will be observed Wednesday, at the residence, 2602 Baird Boulevard.
He is survived by a brother, former District Court Judge Joseph Varbalow, who was associated with him in business, five sisters, a daughter and two grandchildren.
Lived at Home of Kin
Mr. Varbalow lived at the home of his sister, Mrs. Anna Cotler, 2602 Baird Boulevard. His other sisters include Mrs. Rose Gelfand, Mrs. Fannie Newmeyer, and Mrs. Bessie Kalikman, all of Camden, and Mrs. Mary Hoffman, of Ventnor.
Mr. Varbalow's daughter, Henrietta, and her husband, Dr. Charles Kravitz, who is on the medical staff at the Einstein Hospital, were at the bedside when Mr. Varbalow died. His wife, Esther, died in 1916.
Devoted for many years to aiding the cause of establishing an independent Jewish nation, Mr. Varbalow was prominent in many activities pertaining to Israel. He was a leader in the annual Allied Jewish Appeal campaigns, in Bonds for Israel drives; and he was a large contributor to a number of private and public local charities where he insisted on keeping out of the limelight.
He will be remembered by many individuals whom he helped when the going was rough. In each case he asked his assistance not be divulged.
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Oct. 31, 1891, Mr. Varbalow was one of eight children of Hyman and Sadie Varbalow. The family moved to Philadelphia in 1898.
In Business With Brother
As a young man, Mr. Varbalow and his brother, Harry, entered the home construction business. They were among the early developers of Whitman Park, in the vicinity of Bonsall School. They also built homes in Parkside, near Empire and Wildwood Avenues. Later they built homes at 4th and Viola Street.
Harry Varbalow died in 1940.
Samuel Varbalow saw great possibilities in East Camden and later centered his building activities at 24th and Carman Streets, Baird Boulevard and Federal Street, and also in Delaware Gardens. He constructed many of the houses between 27th and Federal Street and Marlton Pike.
Mr. Varbalow was president of the Savar Corporation, which at one time owned as many as 30 theatres in South Jersey.
Theatre Named for Mother
The theatre holdings started with the old Auditorium Theatre at 27th Street and River Avenue, in the neighborhood where the Varbalow children were reared. The building was torn down and a new building, now the Rio Theatre, was constructed.
Savar Corporation then acquired, in turn, the Victoria Theatre, 26th and Federal Streets, and the Walt Whitman Theatre, 47th Street and Westfield Avenue, Pennsauken. The Savar Theatre, named after Mr. Varbalow’s mother, was built at Market Street near Broadway.
The corporation also owns the Midway Theatre, Broadway and Carman Street. Its newest theatre is the Arlo at 27th Street and Westfield Avenue. For a number of years the Towers Theatre, Broadway and Pine Street, belonged to the chain. Savar Corporation owned theatres in Burlington and Gloucester counties.
Mrs. Gelfand and Mrs. Kalikman were visiting in Miami, Florida when Mr. Varbalow died. They are enroute to Camden and funeral arrangements are being held in abeyance pending their arrival.
|The Savar Theater in 1936|
Although the caption indicates a 1938 opening, the picture above was taken in 1936, when the movie "Country Doctor" starring Jean Hersholt was released. Although generally forgotten today, Hersholt appeared in over 130 films between 1906 and his passing in 1956.
Camden Courier-Post - February 1, 1938
RABBI SPEAKS IN CAMDEN TONIGHT
Rabbi Israel Goldstein, of New York, president of the Jewish National Fund of America, will speak tonight at a mass meeting at the Hotel Walt Whitman, in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Jewish National Fund.
Preceding the meeting, he will be the guest at a dinner tendered by members of the Jewish community here.
Leon H, Rose, Camden attorney, who is president of the Jewish National Fund Conncil of Southern New Jersey, will be toastmaster. Rabbis N. H. J. Riff and Philip L. Lipis [of Congregation Beth El- PMC] will speak.
Dr. Goldstein is rabbi of Congregation B'nai Jeshrun, and active in Jewish communal, civic and interfaith movements. He is a member of the New York Regional Relations Board and of the National Executive Committee on Workers and Farmers Rights, and president of the Jewish Conciliation Court of America. The Jewish National Fund of America, of which he is head, has for its purpose the purchase of land in Palestine.
Those at the dinner will include:
David Breslau, Ben Zion Steinberg, Isaac Singer, Mrs. Samuel Kaplan, Mrs. Abraham Kaplan, Samuel Varbalow, Meyer Adelman, E. George Aaron, Jacob Leventon, Jesse Satenstein, Lewis Liberman, A. J. Rosenfeld, Judge Joseph Varbalow, Elias Klein, Mark Marritz, Albert B. Melnik, Dr. Samuel H. Blank, Barney B. Brown, Jacob Naden, Samuel Ginns, Ernest Dubin, Ellis Goodman, Leon Naden, Louis Rovner, Joseph Ruttenberg. Morris Liebman, Albert Caplan, Lester Abrahamer, I. J. Milask, Isadore H. Hermann, Milton C. Nurock, Harry Trautenberg, Manuel Winigrad, Hanan Yarden, Morris Drob and Mrs. Dora E. Rose.
|Camden Courier-Post - January 29, 1951|
OPENING NEW MIDWAY MOVE is Mayor Brunner, who can be seen above in tape- cutting ceremony. Others in front row are, left, Arthur Smith, theatre manager, and district manager for Savar Theatre circuit, and Captain Ellison Wynn, commanding officer of the Camden Army Recruiting Station. In the rear are, left, Technical Sergeant Merle Bailey, information officer for local recruiting office, and Master Sergeant Horace A. Cooper, of the Air Force.
Camden Courier-Post * February 2, 1954
Samuel Varbalow Rites Wednesday
Funeral services for Samuel Varbalow, 62, will be held Wednesday at 3:00 PM in the Berschler Funeral Home, 1401-03 Princess Avenue.
Former District Court Judge Joseph Varbalow, a brother, said friends may send flowers if they wish.
Shiva will be observed at the residence, 2602 Baird Boulevard.
Mr. Varbalow, a pioneer home builder in this area and prominent independent theatre chain operator, died Sunday in the Albert Einstein Medical Center, Northern Division, Philadelphia.
Camden Courier-Post * February 2, 1954
Samuel Varbalow Funeral Services Attended by 500
More than 500 persons attended funeral services on Wednesday for Samuel Varbalow, 62, an outstanding leader of Camden’s Jewish community, who died Sunday in the Albert Einstein Medical Center, Northern Division, Philadelphia.
State, county, and city officials joined business and professional associates, friends and. Members of the family in the Berschler Funeral Home, 1401-03 Princess Avenue.
Following the burial, shiva was observed in the residence, 2602 Baird Boulevard.
Mr. Varbalow, a pioneer home builder in this area was a prominent independent theatre chain operator. He was president of the Savar Corporation, which at one tome owned as many as 30 theatres in South Jersey.
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