HERSHEY, Pa – Television stars, movie stars, antique toys, collectibles and Elvis are just some of the attractions expected to be seen at the American Music & Pop Culture Expo.
The Expo is set to debut on Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30, at the Granada Avenue Gymnasium, 30 E. Granada Avenue in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
The show will present the world of toys, comics, movies, television, and more, with a showroom packed with over 100 exhibitor spaces.
Numerous vendors will be buying, selling and trading a variety of antique, vintage and popular culture collectibles, such as toys, games, lunchboxes, advertising items, comic books, trading cards, art, crafts, jewelry, apparel, vinyl albums and singles, antique cash registers, jukeboxes, gumball machines, pinballs, and antique arcade games.
The event is being organized by USA Theatres, which operates a portable drive-in and outdoor movie theatre in Central Pennsylvania.
“All of the events that we organize exhibit the retro factor,” said Ronald M. Vastola, Outreach Coordinator for USA Theatres.
Special guests including Bronson Pinchot (best known as Balki Bartokomous on the ABC sitcom Perfect Strangers), Butch Patrick (best known as Eddie Munster on the 1960s hit television series The Munsters), and model Cassandra Lynn, will all be on hand signing autographs and meeting fans, in addition to several other special guests.
“Many actors and most movie stars — show audiences versions of themselves onscreen, which is cool if you can pull it off. Since I’ve been a character actor all my life, being merely myself seems like something of a giant leap, both to myself and the audience… And I love it,” Pinchot said.
Pinchot currently stars on The Bronson Pinchot Project, a home renovation show on the DIY Network. Each episode features Pinchot and his crew of local contractors renovating another room at one of his properties in Harford, Pennsylvania.
“There is also a fair amount of teaching I do on the show, but not in a forced way, more in a ‘spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down’ style… And since I’m doing it through my homeboy-carpenters, who are all rural Pennsylvania guys, it doesn’t seem preachy.”
Pinchot said he is looking forward to coming to Hershey and meeting fans.
“As always, I’ll happily do the Balki accent for anyone over 80, as long as I can whisper it to them,” he added.
Butch Patrick will also be on hand to meet and greet fans.
“The Munsters have a really good staying power, the family values hold up really well,” said Patrick. “Now you have kids watching it with their grandparents or parents, everybody enjoying it together, which is difficult because there is not a whole lot of shows that that happens to.”
Patrick said his experience on The Munsters was amazing. “It turned out to be an interesting show, it was very well received, it was fun, good music, good guest stars, cool cars, all of the above,” he added.
According to Patrick, he is currently working on a renovation show (much like The Bronson Pinchot Project), but with a twist. He said his grandmother’s house in Missouri is the showcase of his new project, where he is creating a haunted bed-and-breakfast.
“It is an old classic historical house, built in 1875, with the resident ghost,” Patrick said. “We are doing a restoration show/history show/bio show, ‘Hollywood boy comes back home,’ to a bed-and-breakfast.”
Other guests, who will be appearing at the expo, include Paris Themmen (best known as Mike Tee Vee in the classic film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), Matt Hardy (professional wrestler), Geri Reischl (best known as Jan Brady from Sid & Marty Krofft’s Brady Bunch Variety Hour), David Orange (best known as the Sleepy Klingon from the motion picture Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country), and Triston Johnson (Zombie Barn Walker from AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead).
A live performance by award-wining Elvis Presley Impersonator Brad Crum will also be on hand.
Crum will be taking audiences through many of Presley’s legendary hits with the genuine sound, look and feel of the man himself.
Crum will be performing three sets on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
“I will be doing three costume changes and be featuring 60 songs that cover the entire range of Elvis’ career,” Crum said.
Crum’s impersonating is so compelling that he modeled for the Aloha Elvis figure released in 2008 by McFarlane Toys. The 6-inch figure features Crum’s body with Elvis’ face, he said.
According to USA Theatres, seating will be limited to one set per person and subject to availability on a first-come, first-served basis, space permitting.
Attendees will also have the opportunity for a chance to win a brand new classic-style full-size jukebox (List Price: $1,495.95), provided by RetroWonders.com, an authorized reseller of Crosley Radio products.
A real-Life 1966 Batmobile and Star Wars characters will also be featured, in addition to a pinball showcase and a mobile video game theater.
Early buyers are welcome Friday evening at 5 p.m. and also Saturday morning at 8 a.m. for $25 per person each day, while general admission on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors, college students and active military with photo I.D. Children 11 and under will be admitted for free, accompanied by a paying adult. Parking is free.
A variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase at the event.
For the most current show information, visit their website, www.usatheatres.com/conventions