December 14, 2002 |
At 6:15 last night, the Colonial Theatre's neon marquee buzzed and flickered to life for the first time in decades. The gold, red and blue light reflected in curbside puddles and brightened Bridge Street's brick rowhouses and shops - and the town's hopes for renewal. Police had stopped traffic on the downtown street, and a crowd of locals laughed and clapped; some stayed long after to gaze into the neon, the first time the Colonial Theatre had been lit like this since their childhoods.
October 2, 2005 |
When Phoenixville's old Colonial Theatre went up for sale in 1996, some residents were worried about the possible consequences - but six of them also saw it as a chance to bring new life to their struggling Chester County community. "We believed that a movie theater that was vibrant and alive, and had a lot of different programs, could help revitalize the entire business district," said Mary Foote, one of those six and now the Colonial's executive director. Since buying the 645-seat theater in 1999, the nonprofit Association for the Colonial Theatre has steadily transformed it into an art, independent and family film house, and a community center open seven days a week.
July 12, 2007 |
When The Blob arrived at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville in 1957, it literally oozed through the old movie house, swallowing up people and sending extras, playing moviegoers, running into the street, screaming in fear. Today, The Blob symbolizes the renaissance of the historic theater, which fell on hard times after the movie was shot there. The Blob, a sludgelike creature with a vast appetite that arrived in Chester County inside a meteor, put the Colonial on the map for fans of sci-fi flicks and nostalgic Americana.
June 1, 2015
Bunny Lake is Missing Colonial Theatre, Phoenixville, 2 p.m. Sunday Otto Preminger's 1965 psychological mystery, shot in widescreen black-and-white, stars Carol Lynley as a woman who reports her 5-year-old missing from a London nursery school. Laurence Olivier is the police inspector on the case and the Zombies are on TV (singing "Just Out of Reach") in this cool, ahead-of-its-time thriller. Also in the cast: Keir Dullea and Noel Coward. Info for this and other film and live events at the Colonial: www.TheColonialTheatre.com Flicker: Your Brain on Movies Jeffrey M. Zacks , Oxford University Press, 360 pp, $26.95 Zacks, a psychology professor at Washington University in St. Louis, starts his perceptive, passionate examination of how we watch movies with a gem of a Martin Scorsese quote: "Whenever I hear people dismiss movies as 'fantasy' and make a hard distinction between film and life, I think to myself that it's just a way of avoiding the power of cinema.
May 30, 2003 |
The irreverent fun of Tony Richardson's Tom Jones (1963) is the overlay of 1960s bawdiness on this 1740s Henry Fielding story of a randy bastard child (Albert Finney) adopted by that pillar of rectitude, Squire Allworthy (George Devine). According to Hollywood lore, Richardson was unhappy with the stuffy costume drama he shot. So he used lightning edits and an ironic voice-over to give it the pep and wit of Fielding's 18th-century novel about whether nature or nurture makes the man. The results won Tom Jones an Oscar for best picture, catapulted Finney to international stardom, and still amuses audiences today, although Susannah York's 1963 coif looks as anachronistic as a peruke at a beach party.
February 6, 2004 |
Whenever the inevitable desert-island conversation comes up - as in which one movie would you pack? - I always think Ninotchka (1939). It stars Greta Garbo as a Communist envoy and Melvyn Douglas as a capitalist fool who meet up in Paris. They are temperamental as well as political opposites, she being as pragmatic as he is romantic, as puritanical as he is pleasure-loving. When he goes into seduction mode, she initially resists him, shrugging, "Love is a romantic designation for a most ordinary biological, or shall we say, chemical, process.
May 26, 2012
Repertory Films Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 215-299-1000. www.ansp.org . Mega-Bad Movie Night: Sharktopus (2010) $15. 5/31. 8-10 pm. The Barnes Foundation - Philadelphia 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 215-278-7000. www.barnesfoundation.org . The Collector. 5/26. 10 am. WHYY Documentary on the Barnes Foundation. 5/26. 7:30 pm. Entr'acte (France, 1924) 5/26. 9:30 pm. Midnight Film Series: Philadelphia Film Society.
September 20, 2007 |
Five years ago, when Stephen Berger moved to Phoenixville and saw the Colonial Theatre, he thought to himself, "That's the perfect home for a film festival. " So Berger started the Phoenixville Independent Film Festival the next year. This Saturday, it'll be the fourth year of the Phoenixville Independent Film Festival, a selection of 10 shorts less than 15 minutes long. There are a few films from Chester County, as well as some from as far away as France. Jeffrey Gangwisch of Downingtown created Radio, a comedy/mystery based on nostalgic fireside chats on radio shows.
December 13, 2007 |
It may not be surprising that every year in Phoenixville, a town of homegrown festivals and wacky artists, a sculpture of a phoenix is set on fire. This year, the wooden sculpture will be set ablaze at 8 p.m. Saturday during the town's Firebird Festival. Organizer Lynn Miller said, "The town was named for the bird," a symbol of rebirth. Legend goes that in 1813, the founder of the town's first iron company had a vision of a phoenix emerging from the flames and named his company Phoenix Works.
April 8, 2011 |
The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts continues its 27th Philadelphia International Children's Festival through Saturday with kids' activities, dance, music, and theatrical performances. At noon Friday, the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble will perform. The festival features Friday and Saturday shows, beginning at 10 a.m., including American Indian storytelling; dance; music by Grammy-winning singer Thirza Defoe; puppeteer Basil Twist's Petrushka ; and Vancouver-based recycled-materials drummers and athletic choreography group ScrapArtsMusic.