Dan Gross: Filmmaker wants shuttered Montco school for flick

Posted: June 14, 2011

FILMMAKER Eric Moyer is outraged that the Souderton Area School District rejected his request to shoot his film "School Spirits" in the closed former home of Souderton High School, from which Moyer graduated in 1991.

The movie, which deals with ghosts in a shuttered high school, stars Mischa Barton ("The O.C."); Christopher McDonald, whose credits include "Dirty Work" and "Happy Gilmore"; and Robert Romanus, remembered by a generation as Mike Damone in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

Romanus starred in Moyer's comedy "A Halfway House Christmas."

Moyer offered to pay the district, use Souderton High kids as production assistants and have full liability insurance releasing the district from any responsibility should anyone be injured during the shoot. He also said the film contained no profanity, sex or nudity (which might upset some of Barton's fans).

Souderton Superintendent Frederick Johnson denied Moyer's request, telling him that having nonschool individuals in the building is "just too much of a risk for the district."

Moyer says he was never granted the opportunity to pitch the school board and the community, which has long been upset that the abandoned high school sits there unused.

"We are in negotiations to sell the building. We don't want any possible liability," Superindendent Johnson told us yesterday.

He confirmed that the building has been broken into and vandalized a few times since it closed two years ago. The school, by the way, also counts former Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer (no relation) among its grads.

Eric Moyer is hoping he can still convince the district to permit the shoot, and is asking any area residents who support his efforts to email eric@moyermovies.com.

Welker working White House

 Yesterday we told you that NBC10's Aditi Roy would work this summer for "NBC News," which last year tried out her colleague Kristen Welker, who has since been promoted to "NBC News," working out of Los Angeles. Welker, it turns out, is now filling in at the White House in the absence of Savannah Guthrie, now on the "Today" show.

We're told Welker will spend her summer on the White House beat but is not expected to get the job full time. She may instead end up reporting nationally on the 2012 presidential campaign.

Out and about

 * Chef Aldo Lamberti kept Positano Coast (2nd & Walnut) open late Friday after Jerry Blavat called to ask him to stay open to accommodate Frankie Valli. The Four Seasons frontman performed at the Coaches vs. Cancer benefit earlier that night at the Hyatt at the Bellevue.

The Geator couldn't make the American Cancer Society benefit because he was working at Chris Scarduzio's Mia at Caesars in Atlantic City, but he ended up joining Valli and friends for the Positano Coast after-party, feasting on antipasto, mussels, octopus and Valli's favorite dish there, meatballs.

* Ashley Biden, daughter of Vice

President Joe Biden, stopped by for a drink at Time (1315 Sansom) after a fashion show and block party at Opa (1311 Sansom) Thursday to launch Glendi, the first of a series of Thursday-night parties at the new Greek spot.

* It isn't all barbecue for Greg Luzinski.

The Bull went for a salad and a ribeye steak at Davio's (111 S. 17th) Sunday while dining with his wife, Jean, and friends.

Furyk hosts Morton's benefit

Jim Furyk, 2010 PGA Tour player of the year, will host the first-ever PGA Tour Celebrity Server night June 28 at Morton's in King of Prussia. Furyk and other pro golfers will serve food that night to benefit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The evening begins at 7. Tickets are $300 a person at helpmakemiracles.org or call Karleen Koerkel at 610-491-1900.

"Fringe-ology" at Free Library

Philadelphia magazine writer Steve Volk reads from and signs his book Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable - and Couldn't, at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow. Read more about the book at stevevolk.com.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit www.philly.com/DanGross.

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