The movie monster that put Phoenixville’s Colonial Theatre on the map will be celebrated once again at the return of Blobfest.
The signature annual festival returns to the historic venue from Friday, July 8, to Sunday, July 10. It commemorates all things retro sci-fi/horror, as well as the Colonial Theatre’s place in cinema history.
The Colonial was a filming location for the 1958 classic sci-fi film, The Blob, that stars a young Steve McQueen.
Now in its 23rd consecutive year, Blobfest was originally devised by volunteers and community members to draw visitors to the borough during the summer months and generate support for the nonprofit venue.
Director Irvin “Shorty” Yeaworth shot The Blob in Phoenixville, Downingtown, and elsewhere locally operating the Good News Productions studio in the nearby village of Yellow Springs. The film was then sold to Paramount Pictures.
The Blob was reportedly inspired by a 1950 Philadelphia police report that involved an object falling from space to the corner of Vare and 26th streets. Investigating officers encountered a jelly-like mass that, they claimed, moved on its own.
The film centers on a small, rural town beset by a similar, amoeba-like creature intent on consuming everything in its path. When adults fail to heed the warnings of local teens, the “blob” overtakes the town theater in a climactic scene shot inside and outside the Colonial Theatre. The “run out” scene, which Yeaworth shot using local residents as extras, is re-enacted each year at Blobfest on the second Friday in July.
Patrons flood the streets of Phoenixville after enjoying a live, original stage show featuring live music and the Shorty’s Short Film contest. The re-enactment kicks off a weekend of vintage sci-fi movies that includes a free street festival with vendors, live music, classic cars, and contests.
The last live and in-person festival in 2019 drew thousands of visitors from across the country — affectionately known as “Blobbies.” During the pandemic, staff and volunteers delivered virtual, “at home” editions.
This year, people will travel from more than 23 states to Phoenixville to experience Blobfest. The 2022 festival theme, “The Uninvited,” was inspired by contemporary circumstances and informed the other 1950s-era films that will be screened:
- The War of the Worlds
- When Worlds Collide
- The Man from Planet X
Calhoun Jewelers of Royersford is the event’s presenting sponsor.
“Blobfest helps define the Colonial Theatre and contributes to our identity and sense of place here in the borough,” said Jennifer Carlson, Colonial Theatre’s Executive Director. “It’s a bright spot in our year that’s made other year-round programs possible, like our very successful Horror and Cult film series. Having just joined the staff and moved to the area this spring, this will be my first festival! I’m looking forward to the experience and to welcoming so many fans to town.”
Local businesses like Root Down Brewing and Rebel Hill Brewing will offer Blob-themed craft brews, and other inspired items will be available at retailers and eateries in Phoenixville’s walkable downtown. Bridge Street Chocolates will bring back its Blob Chocolates for a limited time. Lulu Boutique & Gifterie hosts a costumed, retro dance party called the Blob Ball in the lobby of the Colonial Theatre on Friday. The Runegades mount an annual 5K race benefiting the venue on Sunday.
All weekend, limited-edition artwork and merchandise designed by the Colonial Theatre and artists from Nashville’s Hatch Show Print and Monsterologist will be available for purchase.
Tickets for Blobfest 2022: The Uninvited are available online.