The Colonial Theatre
is located in Phoenixville
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 last surviving of four theatres once existing in the borough and the only theatre of its kind in Chester County
. 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 first stage show, The Beauty Doctor
, starred Fred E. Wright
In 1903, the first silent movie debuted, and in 1928, the first talkie, The Jazz Singer
. The Colonial was featured in the classic science fiction movie The Blob
(1958), filmed in and around Phoenixville
, Downingtown, Chester Springs
The Colonial was home to a Kimball pipe organ installed in 1975 and used for silent movies and pre-show recitals. The organ was sold to the Chicago Historical Society, but plans are currently underway to install an organ in the theatre.