Colonial Theatre

227 Bridge Street,
Phoenixville, PA 19460

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Colonial Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1903, this theater initially began as a legitimate and vaudeville house before turning to movies later.

The Colonial Theatre is famous for being featured in the 1958 sci-fi low budget classic “The Blob” starring a very young Steve McQueen. The theatre also makes a cameo appearance in 1978’s “Grease”.

The Colonial Theatre made a comeback in the 1980’s through owner Jim Breneman who was a pipe organ restorer. He installed a very elaborate Kimball organ and began hosting concerts and silent films, along with the occasional live act until his death in 1992 which brought everything to a grinding halt.

First run features failed and the theatre was scheduled for the wrecking ball, until a community group was formed and the theatre was saved. The Colonial Theatre has been restored and renovated and reopened in 1999, showing art house, independent, and classic films as well as hosting live entertainment and special events, such as the annual “Blobfest” festival, a homage to the film that the theatre was featured in.

The movie screen is a generous 27 feet wide for ‘scope films. The installation of a Wurlitzer pipe organ was completed in 2010.

In November 2011, the Colonial Theatre owners purchased the National Bank of Phoenixville building next door to the theatre at 225 Bridge Street. Planning is underway for the main floor of the adjoining building to have a 160-seat auditorium with a balcony, and 12 foot by 28 foot screen for films, and live events, a concession stand with a bar, and restrooms. The lower level will have an additional 60-seat auditorium with a 6 foot by 14 foot screen for films and live events.

Contributed by Ted Wilby

Recent comments (view all 36 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 5, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Here is another 2009 photo.

spectrum
spectrum on September 7, 2009 at 9:11 am

Anybody know what happened to the 4/32 Kimball previously installed at the Colonial? I have a recording by Clark Wilson of the final concert before the organ’s removal in 1995.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm

I have the old Peerless carbon arc lamps that appeared in The Blob stored in my garage. I made a short video of us picking them up & meeting Ted The Fiddler.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnGGcvQngz0

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on March 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Last night’s Oscar telecast had a montage of horror films. Included was a scene from the 1958 movie “The Blob” showing moviegoers fleeing the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA. In recent years, the community nonprofit organization that rescued the Colonial restored its facade to how it looked in 1958. I’m told the partygoers at the Oscar telecast last night at the Colonial were overjoyed to see the footage broadcast worldwide.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 27, 2010 at 10:33 pm

What a real neat find.Great stories.

RetroRoadmap
RetroRoadmap on February 6, 2011 at 9:40 am

So glad to read all of the nice comments about my favorite local movie house where I’m a member and volunteer. We are starting up tours of the theatre on every first Sunday of the month and we’ve started a Facebook page, Flickr page and Twitter account to keep fans up-to-date on what is going on with the theatre.

http://www.facebook.com/thecolonialtheatre?v=info
http://twitter.com/colonialtheatre
http://www.flickr.com/groups/colonialtheatre

bobc316
bobc316 on February 13, 2013 at 8:44 pm

the KIMBALL PIPE ORGAN owned by owners of theSTATE THEATRE sold it to JIM BRENEMAN in 1967, he sam larosa instaulled this piece to the brookline theatre in havertown, when in 1973 was heavenly damaged by a flood was later stored in a garage until being installed at the colonial in 1975 after jim’s death sam larosa purchsed it and later sold it to the CHICAGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY where it remains.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on April 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Organ concert honoring Mary Pickford to be held April 28th: thecolonialtheatre

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