Due to COVID-19, historic Colonial Theatre launches fundraiser — with perks for donors

PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Just as the Blob engulfed everything in its sight, it would seem so does COVID-19. Now, the historic Colonial Theatre is trying to prevent becoming another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Phoenixville theater — which was featured in the 1950s sci-fi horror classic “The Blob” — launched an online fundraising campaign to make up for the loss, offering some special premiums for donors.

“We are at the point where we are nearly 100% dependent on donations for survival,” said Bob Trate, the theater’s marketing director. “So as we move into the winter — January, February — we want to remain open to provide that island in the sun for people.”

The theater was able to delay asking for considerable donations up until now due to federal assistance. It aims to raise $150,000 by the end of the year, but it’s asking donors to get them to at least $50,000.

“We really thought that this was time to do a GoFundMe campaign,” Trate continued. “We had never done it before, and we realized that we have some really cool things that we can offer people as incentives.”

The nonprofit group running the theater created special rewards for certain tiers of donors.

“We have popcorn for a year with your donation,” Trate said. “We also have the fact that you could plan four classic films at the Colonial Theatre for one month.

“And, we would plan out four Sundays where you would pick what you want to show — ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ or you want to show a Humphrey Bogart movie. It would be your month to plan.”

Other premiums include the chance to be the grand marshal of the annual Blobfest event.

“We have a broader platform than just the Philadelphia area now, because Blobfest has allowed us to reach to the lengths of California and Washington and Arkansas where Blobfest screened virtually,” Trate noted.

Because of that reach, he’s confident the theater will reach its $50,000 goal.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images