the colonial theatre marquee

Spend a Week at the Colonial Nov 13 Nov 19


It has been a sad time at the Colonial. The staff and organization lost two amazing volunteers this week.

The death of JOEL RICKENBACH on November 4 was a devastating shock to all of us. Joel was 38 years old, a young husband and father, and an extraordinarily kind, generous and creative man. Joel was instrumental in growing our First Friday Fright Night, Cult Cinema and Classics on Sundays film programs into the robust series they are today. As a member of our film programming committees he helped select the films and introduce screenings with intelligence and wit. He also co-hosted our Members’ Party, created custom trailers, and designed posters and t-shirts for us. Joel was at the theatre nearly every week for the past several years. To say he was an enthusiastically dedicated volunteer doesn’t begin to quantify his commitment to the Colonial. Joel will be dearly missed by our staff, fellow volunteers and patrons alike.

Fellow classic film committee member Brendan Carr will say a few words about Joel before this Sunday’s 2PM screening of The Third Man, a film Joel championed and was looking forward to seeing on our screen. Donations to help support Joel’s young daughter, Josie, can be made here:

EARL SITLINGER wandered into the theatre the Spring of 1999, recently retired from the movie exhibition business. We were on schedule to re-open the Colonial in October of that year and were looking for a house manager. Earl introduced us to Scott Bauman and the rest, as they say, is history. Scott has been with us ever since.

Earl volunteered as a projectionist, helped us collect projection supplies from the movie houses that were closing in the area, and supported ACT as a longtime member. Earl was also a talented artist. You can see one of his paintings hanging in the theatre. We are grateful to have this reminder of Earl’s gifts in our care. Earl gave us another gift when he and his son came to see Citizen Kane two weeks ago. We were all so happy to see him and he enjoyed giving his son a tour of his old stomping grounds. Earl suffered from Parkinson’s disease for several years and passed away on November 7.

Joel was working in the old Exton triplex in 1999, the year we met Earl, so it’s not unlikely that they knew each other before finding their way to the Colonial. With grief and gratitude, we say cheers to these two extraordinary gentlemen!


Tickets are on sale now for Holy Holy, Friday, Jan 15 at 8PM. Tony Visconti, Woody Woodmansey’s Holy Holy, and Glenn Gregory perform David Bowie‘s seminal “The Man Who Sold the World” album plus a new set of other classic early Bowie. Tickets may be purchased online here.

Our new feature film this week is Bridge of Spies. Written by Joel and Ethan Coen and Matt Charman, the film tells the story of James Donovan (Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Tonight is your last chance to see the stunning The Assassin at 7:30.

This Saturday at 11AM is our inaugural FREE Indie Lens Pop-Up screening – presented by the Colonial Theatre and WHYY. We are beginning with Autism in Love. The film has harnessed the power of cinema to reveal the truths of this otherwise marginalized community of autistic adults, and it presents a personal and critical perspective on the most important aspect of the human condition … love. Join us for a 20 minute panel discussion immediately following the screening.

Join us this Saturday at 2PM for our Young Audiences screening of Labyrinth, sponsored by Roots by Niki. A selfish 16-year old girl (a very young Academy Award winner, Jennifer Connelly, A Beautiful Mind) is given 13 hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King. Come early and get eye facepaint ala the Goblin King … and pick up a ticket to win prizes!

Our classic film Sunday at 2PM Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton star in The Third Man. We will be screening the special stunning digital restoration – you don’t want to miss it!

Due to popular demand, Wednesday night at 7PM TEDxPhoenixville presents a second Improv Salon with with Cara Schmidt! This evening of improvisation and TEDTalks is designed for anyone looking to be spontaneous, loosen up, or have a laugh. Get your tickets online now!

Join us the first and third Sundays of each month at 12:30 for an exclusive tour of the theatre and a visit to 225 Bridge St. Please RSVP by 5PM Thursday by calling 610-917-1228 and giving us the names of all attending.

Thanks for your support and we’ll see you at the theatre!