Home Of The Blob! ~ Downingtown Diner, Pennsylvania
Currently I am stuck working in Pennsylvania. Hopefully I will be back in the Southwest before winter sets in, but for the time being, making the best of this monotonous situation is all that can be done. I would much rather be celebrating Halloween in Las Vegas, but all is not lost. Fortunately I ran across a creepy dining destination today in Pennsylvania, which brightened my day!
The Downingtown Diner is "The Home Of The Blob!" Some of the young readers of this website may ask "What is The Blob?" The Blob was a late 1950's sci-fi horror movie that achieved cult status. The Blob was one of the first B-Grade horror movies to be filmed in color and it was Steve McQueen's legendary first starring role.
Hundreds of B-Grade horror movies were pumped out by low budget producers back in those days and most followed a common storyline format. The Blob is often cited as being a classic example of the stereotypical cadence of events that occur in horror films from this genre. For example, the first victim of The Blob was an Afro American male. The second victim of the monster was a blonde female. The third event in the classic cadence involved the monster invading a public building. Taking shelter from the monster in a local hangout was the fourth part of the stereotypical chain of events. The Downingtown Diner was the local hangout that was turned into a survival shelter in The Blob movie.
The Downingtown Diner is where Steve McQueen and the surviving members of the cast holed up, till somebody figured out a way to destroy The Blob. The Downingtown Diner scenes were filled with dramatic dialogue concerning how dire the situation was. Steve McQueen did such a great acting job in the Downingtown Diner scenes, that he was recruited by Hollywood and soon he became a major motion picture star. This was a great loss to the B-Grade horror movie industry, but thats how it always goes.
Several Blob filming locations in Phoenixville and Downingtown were preserved for all posterity. The old movie theatre in Phoenixville and the Downingtown Diner by far are the most popular Blob tourism destinations. To top it all off, there actually is a Blobfest event that takes place in this area each year. I worked in little tavern in Phoenixville last year and the local clientele honestly still talked about The Blob movie, as if it was just filmed yesterday. The legend of The Blob lives on in these two old southeastern Pennsylvania towns.
The Downingtown Diner is still a classic tin box style pre-fab building, just like it was way back when The Blob movie was filmed. "The Home Of The Blob" is the restaurant logo. This claim to fame can be seen on both the signage and the menu. Other than the logo, there really is not much more Blob memorabilia to see in this place. This is too bad, because there is a niche marketing sector of devoted horror movie fans that surely would purchase a Blob t-shirt, coffee mug, snow glass paper weight or just about anything that has to do with The Blob movie. As it is, the Downingtown Diner only offers Blob Sandwiches, Blob Pancakes and the Blob Burger Special.
I just had to eat something on the Downingtown Diner menu that commemorated The Blob movie, so I ordered the Blob Burger Special. The Blob Burger Special actually turned out to be a pretty good meal, which kind of put a twist on things. It sure is better to eat The Blob, rather than be eaten by The Blob!
Downingtown, Pennsylvania, is a long ways away from the Desert Southwest, but occasionally I do publish articles about destinations east of the Mississippi. Should the Downingtown Diner be placed on your lifetime travel bucket list? That depends on how much of a B-Grade horror movie fan that you really are. All I can say is that visiting The Home Of The Blob is a great thing to do on Halloween!