Few horror movie scenes are as iconic as the moment when The Blob attacked a movie theater in the 1958 movie that bears the monster’s name. In that moment, it seemed like the very space the audience was sitting in could be attacked, and they might be the victims, and audiences can still relive the experience of seeing a movie in the very theater where the attack was shot.
The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, where the iconic scene was shot, was built in 1903 when the surrounding city was a growing industrial town. The space converted a pair of existing storefronts into a show space that was unlike anything around for miles. The grand theater hosted Vaudville shows, musicals, silent movies, and more, becoming a fixture in the local landscape. As entertainment evolved, the theater became more of a movie palace, but stuck to its roots with pre-show music that was performed on a large pipe organ.
When the filming of The Blob began in and around Phoenixville in 1958, the Colonial, with its elaborate marquee was chosen as a perfect location for an attack. In the film, the monster infiltrates a packed house of moviegoers, rushing them out the doors in a mad mob as they try to escape the creature. Once it leaves the theater, the blob strikes a sort of “hero shot” in front of the theater, entering it forever into the annals of famous horror locations.
The Colonial continued to operate after the movie left, and is still there today. It has finally embracing its beastly heritage with an annual Blobfest which sees replicas of the famous creature appear on and in the theater and the marquee restored to how it looks in the film, complete with a banner advertising it as being “Healthfully Air Conditioned.” Today the space is being fully restored and kept up by a non-profit group who operate the historic space as a cultural arts center.
Know Before You Go
227 Bridge St., Phoenixville, PA 19460