When I was very young, I can remember my family remarking, each time we drove down the old highway through Phoenixville (this was pre-422 Expressway), on an old roadside diner as we passed it. “They filmed a move there,” someone would say, “with Steve McQueen. What was it called?”
Those were hard years for The Blob, when it was just about to fade from local memory completely. But then something great happened: a group of active citizens organized and took over the dilapidated Colonial Movie Theater in town, fixed it up, and started showing 2nd-run and classic films. They also started the Blobfest, an annual summer celebration of cheesy 1950s horror films and the fun that can be had with them. Parts of the movie were filmed inside and outside this theater.
Above, a scene from the original movie: the audience flees in panic to escape from the man-eating Blob, which has just oozed out of the projection windows into the house.
After the Friday night showing of the film, the audience gets to participate in the annual re-enactment, called the Running Out. This year’s Running Out was sold out well in advance. We got tickets for the following afternoon but were not disappointed — audience participation in encouraged, because most of the dialogue is not really all that worth hearing (except for a few lines which get the big applause. Think of this as Mystery-Science-Theater-3000-On-Tour. )
The Blobfest is held every second weekend in July. There are street events and musical acts as well, but you have to go mainly to see the film. Go early and get balcony seats!