When I moved to my current home I had no idea about the surrounding area’s dark, dangerous past. It was shocking. I had no idea that this area, this very area around which I now live with my loving husband and our affectionate dog was once a place where people lived in fear of….THE BLOB! Not quite what you were expecting, right? So beloved is the movie monster that the local independent movie theater, The Colonial Theatre, hosts Blobfest, a three day festival, every year since 2000. Sounds fun, right?
If you’re not familiar with the 1958 sci-fi film, it features a then unknown actor by the name of Steve McQueen. After seeing a comet land nearby, he and his sweetheart go investigating. They find an old man with his hand covered in a kind of goo. A blob, if you will. They take the old man to the town’s doctor. From there, The Blob takes over. The purple gelatinous ball consumes all the humans it comes into contact with and grows in size. It’s seemingly unstoppable. It’s even immune to gunshots. But the police won’t believe the story the kids tell them, especially with no evidence, of the monster. They don’t believe, at least, until it’s too late. Or is it?
The key turning point in the film, when the police start believing, is after there’s a stampede of late night movie goers who can’t get out of the theater — the Colonial Theatre — fast enough. And it’s just that stampede that they reenact every year in the highlight of Blobfest. The movie was filmed locally in the Phoenixville and Valley Forge parts of the Chester and Montgomery Counties outside of Philadelphia. Look for the map in the police station: it’s for Chester County!
This year, Blobfest will take place from July 11 – 13, 2014, and it’s more than just a run out from the theater. This year there will be a street fair plus several movie showings (The Blob and Mothra, The Blob and King Kong vs. Godzilla, The Blob and The Giant Spider). If you’re thinking about attending the run out, you might want to mark your calendar for 2015 because this year’s run out — featuring a number of special guests and a Clash of the Kaiju theme — is sold out. But the theater does ofter a map of local filming locations if you’re looking for an alternative.
The Colonial Theatre
227 Bridge Street
Photo courtesy firefightersdaughter on Flickr