The annual Blobfest once again drew fans of the 1958 classic sci-fi movie to Phoenixville, Pa. this weekend. I went to check it out on Saturday for the first time and it’s definitely worth checking out. Besides attending Blobfest, it was also my first visit to the Phoenixville area where a great main street USA town atmosphere comes to life. A wonderful variety of dining and shopping await the newcomer’s exploration and beckon for many return visits.
It rained, almost at a downpour for most of the way to an event I’d been wanting to go to for a while. As luck would have it, the rain let up as the remaining miles to Phoenixville wound down. On the way to the Blob-inspired festivities, the first stop was at the site of the Downingtown Diner. The parking lot entrance was closed, but there was room to pull off of Lancaster Ave. to take a photo. That’s one filming location of “The Blob” down and a few more to go.
After a quick click of my camera’s shutter, it was time to get back on the road and make a turn-around to head toward W. Uwchlan Ave. Turning left there from Lancaster Ave., a long stretch of curving road led the way to a right turn onto Nutt Rd., another right onto Bridge St. and finally, the Colonial Theatre. Famous for the run-out scene in “The Blob,” the theatre and a section of the street was blocked off from regular traffic and red flags were draped overhead. A big, red, shapeless object loomed over the Colonial’s porch roof, ready to spill out over the festival crowd.
Despite unfamiliar territory and not knowing the parking situation, luck was in the air as a space was found with no problem. There was a lot, with a fee, right across from the Molly Maguire’s Pub. The parking fee was 25 cents per 15 minutes, but it wasn’t necessary to pay until the 2 – 9 p.m. time frame (Mondays – Saturdays).
Music played and a small group of cool classic cars lined part of Bridge Street near the theatre, along with venders selling sci-fi fan gear. Movie monster and space creature items alike were available for any pop culture enthusiast to collect. One such movie creature likeness I spotted was this little green swamp inhabitant.
Reminiscent of a much more recent sci-fi movie, “Signs,” one Blobfest attendee was walking around wearing a tin foil hat with a few upward-spiking features on it. Restaurant and store fronts were decked out in the spirit of celebrating the oozing mass from space.
After walking around and stirring up an appetite, it was off to Molly Maguire’s, the dining establishment of choice upon arriving in town. There aren’t any locations of this pub closer to my neighborhood yet, so eating here was another first during the trip to Phoenixville. If you haven’t been there, you won’t disappointed. I tried the Irish nachos, splitting them, and a combo item of traditional Irish fare for the main course, called The Trio. A couple with their young daughter came in and seated nearby, saw the appetizing order and decided to try it as well. The food was amazing and very filling, the service was excellent and the atmosphere casual and welcoming. I hope I’ll see a Molly Maguire’s open up closer to where I live, but I’d still love to go back to Phoenixville and eat at their pub location again.
Looking outside, I could see an old fire truck and more classic cars had arrived at the festival. With the check paid, it was time to walk off some of the great food and take in the new arrivals up the street. A live rockabilly band was playing cool tunes in the street just beyond sidewalk dining at Franco Ristorante.
Blobfest souvenirs were being sold at the Colonial Theatre: t-shirts, booklets, postcards and even this documentary film about acting legend Steve McQueen.
A long ride was ahead to get home, but before leaving the Phoenixville area there was one more site to see from “The Blob.” Just a few right turns and I found “Doc Hallen’s House,” a pretty Victorian featuring a wrap-around porch.
One thing I missed during this year’s Blobfest was the run-out reenactment at the theatre. So that’s another reason to go back for next year’s celebration, to run from the Blob!