When I posted about The Blob a few weeks ago, Mod Betty of the ultra-cool retro themed travel site RetroRoadmap.com reminded me about Blobfest, the annual festival that pays homage to the 1958 camp horror classic. Betty lives in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania where the festival takes place--and where much of the movie was filmed. Blobfest 2012 is being held from July 13th-15th, and does it sound like a gas! Next year, I'm SO there!
How did the movie end up being made in Phoenixville, a Philadelphia suburb? According to The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the movie was financed by its producer, Jack H. Harris, who ponied up money from his family's life insurance policies to make the film. With a limited budget, Phoenixville was chosen as the setting since it was close to Philadelphia (where Harris lived) and many locals participated in the filming. It may be a small claim to fame, but it's one the townspeople celebrate to this day with pride.
Party central is pretty much The Colonial Theater, which was the theater featured in the film where hundreds of terrified moviegoers ran from the Blob, which poured out the front doors. No surprise, the weekend kicks off Friday night (Friday the 13th!) with a reenactment of that pinnacle clip from the movie, called the Blobfest Run Out. Tickets are required to participate in the running; they're sold out according to the site and I suspect they have been for some time. Here's what the 2009 running looked like; keep your eyes open for the Don Draper type around the 0:27 mark who casually strolled out and checked his watch while everyone else around him screamed.
And just for fun, here's the clip of that scene from the movie:
Sadly, you won't see the diner as it's miles away (not across the street like in the film) but there are all sorts of shenanigans abound for vintage fans all weekend long at this fest. There's a street fair showcasing classic car displays, vintage and sci-fi-inspired arts and crafts vendors selling goods, live music, food, costume contests and more. In addition to this, The Colonial Theater will be airing The Blob several times over the course of the weekend as well as other classic sci-fi/B horror movies.
Check out all of the details and events here. Thank you, Mod Betty, for the tip. Watch for me next year dressed 50s style running out of the theater!