Organizers of The Awesome Fest, which runs regular outdoor film showings around the city, reported Tuesday the company van containing all of their screening equipment was stolen.
"It's kind of as if somebody walked into a United Artist and just stole the entire theater," Awesome Fest founder and artistic director Josh Goldbloom said. "We had everything in it, from our movie screen to our soundboards, our speakers to the high-end projector - everything we use."
Goldbloom first noticed around 8 a.m. the van was missing from a Northern Liberties street. "We filed a police report this morning," he said. "Hopefully something comes of it." He also wrote about the theft on The Awesome Fest's Facebook page. Goldbloom said he is "humbled" by the outpouring of support.
Founded nearly four years ago, The Awesome Fest shows films from diverse genres in some of the city's most unconventional places. The organization most recently celebrated the 80th anniversary of the drive-in theater with a five-weekend screening series at Eakins Oval, where they created a temporary drive-in of their own.
The Awesome Fest team is now looking into their insurance options and trying to figure out how to recoup the costs of the expensive equipment but has no plans to stop the screenings. "There's no good time for something like this to happen, but certainly, on New Year's Eve, it's rough," Goldbloom said. "But we're certainly not going to let a bunch of bums stop us from doing what we love to do."
The van is described as a 1993 Dodge Ram with tags reading JGG-1395. Anyone with information is urged to contact their local police precinct, to call 911, or to submit an anonymous tip by dialing 215-686-TIPS (8477) or texting PPD TIP (773847).