Monday, April 4, 2011

Two SE PA Silent Movie Events

Not everything centers around Hollywood or even the West Coast.  There are two small events coming up soon in Southeastern Pennsylvania, which is strangely enough, where I live.  Both are inexpensive excursions into the Silent Movie Era.

First up is 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, 2011 at the famous Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA.  Yes, that is the theater where the 1958 hit movie The Blob was partially filmed.  To benefit the Theatre Organ Society of the Delaware Valley, they will be showing five silent shorts accompanied by the newly renovated organ. 

Sadly, they don't say which five silent shorts, but they do mention Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.  Those four men made hundreds of films, and many were silent shorts.  Let's hope they pick your favorites for the show.  It doesn't really matter much, since the admission is only ten bucks and the proceeds benefit the Organ Society. 

Later on in the summer, July 8 to 10, is this year's Blobfest.  Come on out for your chance to run out of the theater screaming.  After that show, you can drive out to the Downingtown Diner for some refreshments.  That's where the Blob was fried.  It's only about 15 miles away.

Then, on Saturday, May 14, 2011, come to Montgomery County Community College at 8:00 p.m. for the Betzwood Silent Film Festival.  The Betzwood Studio was located near Norristown, PA, and the site of the interior studio and lab is about a mile from where I live now.  It was a 350 acre ranch of early movie mogul Siegmund Lubin (1851 - 1923).  Check my Blog label list on the right for more about Lubin and Betzwood.

This year will be a showing of westerns, accompanied by Don Kinnier on the organ.  It's not a theater organ, but Don is incredibly talented at bringing silent films to life.  Hosting the event, as always, is Lubin biographer, Joseph Eckhardt.  Make sure you pick up his book, The King of the Movies: Film Pioneer Siegmund Lubin, and bring it along for an autograph.

I will be there once again.  Look for me with my copy of his book!  And this show is only eight bucks.


  1. Sounds like lots of fun is coming to S.E. PA. Hope you will report back here, Allen. Enjoy!

  2. Thanks, Eve. I am looking forward to the Betzwood night. Lubin was a real movie pioneer and his lab was one of the most respected places in the early industry.

    He opened the first purpose-built movie theater in 1899. And it was all gone by the beginning of World War I, after a fire destroyed all of his negatives. I understand that Prof. Eckhardt is working on a documentary on Lubin. I'll ask him about it.


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