Colonial Theatre (Phoenixville, Pennsylvania)
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2008)|
The Colonial Theatre is located in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania at 227 Bridge Street. Built in 1903 as a vaudeville house, the "Colonial Opera House" brought professional shows and live entertainment to Phoenixville for the first time.
The Colonial Theatre is owned and operated by the Association for the Colonial Theatre (ACT), a nonprofit corporation. ACT is committed to the full restoration of the Colonial as a cultural arts center. The Colonial reopened in 1999, showing art and independent films as well as classics and children's programs.
Opened in 1903, the Colonial is the only theatre left of its kind in Chester County, and the last surviving theatre of four that once existed in downtown Phoenixville. The Colonial was first home to live stage shows, vaudeville acts and musicals. Entertainers such as Harry Houdini and Mary Pickford performed there and the stage show, "The Beauty Doctor", starred Fred E. Wright.
The first silent movie debuted in 1903, and in 1928, the first talkie was presented, The Jazz Singer. The Colonial Theatre was featured in the classic science fiction movie The Blob (1958), filmed in and around Phoenixville, Downingtown, Chester Springs and Royersford.
The Colonial theatre, home to a Kimball pipe organ installed in 1975, was used for silent movies and pre-show recitals. The organ was sold to the Chicago Historical Society in 2005.
In 2005, The Theatre Organ Society of the Delaware Valley began installing a Wurlitzer (Opus 585) pipe organ that was originally installed in Shea’s Hippodrome Theatre in Buffalo, New York in 1922. "After 6 years of tremendous restoration and installation work and 2 years of 'shake down'" the organ had its debut concert on Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 7:00 pm.
- "History: The Colonial Theatre : Phoenixville, PA". Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- "History". Theatre Organ Society of the Delaware Valley. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
- "Pipe Organ Debut Concert : The Colonial Theatre". Association for the Colonial Theatre (ACT). Retrieved 7 September 2013.