Monsters, TV stars, antiques, books and Elvis are just a few of the attractions at the American Music and Pop Culture Expo in Hershey.
The expo, which runs March 29 and 30 at the Granada Avenue Gymnasium, 30 E. Granada Ave., Hershey, will feature the worlds of comics, movies, television, toys and more, with dozens of vendors and special guests.
Numerous venders will be buying, selling and trading a variety of antique, vintage and popular culture merchandise, including DVDs, posters, books, magazines, comics, trading cards, art, crafts, jewelry, clothes, games, CDs, vinyl albums and more.
The event is put on by USA Theaters, 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. “From the King of Rock and Roll to the King of Pop, from old mechanical toys to battery-operated toys, from Star Trek to Star Wars, through Beatlemania and Batmania, Pac-Mania and Hulkamania, the American Music and Pop Culture Expo will appeal to all age groups.”
Special guests from Eddie Munster (Butch Patrick), Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot) and model Cassandra Lynn, will be on hand to sign autographs and meet fans, as well as many other special guests.
Pinchot, best known for playing Balki Bartokomous on the ABC sitcom Perfect Strangers 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.
“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,” he said. “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 his appearance at the expo, and will be 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 said.
Butch Patrick, best known as Eddie Munster in the 1960’s TV series The Munsters, will also be on hand to meet fans. Patrick, who has been featured in 17 movies, countless commercials and TV shows said he was always interested in meeting fans of The Munsters, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year.
“The Munsters have a really good staying power, the family values hold up really well,” he said. “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 said. “It was a great place to hang out as a kid.”
Filmed at Universal Studios in California, Patrick said it was great to be at the studio at the time, with everything that was going on then.
“It was just a really cool place to go exploring and see the process at its best,” he said.
Patrick is also working on a renovation show, much like Pinchot, 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,” he said. “We are doing a restoration show/history show/bio show, ‘Hollywood boy comes back home,’ to a bed-and-breakfast.”
Other special guests include Paris Themmen, best known for his appearance 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, and several more.
A live performance by award-wining Elvis impersonator Brad Crum will also be featured.
Crum, from Halifax, will be taking audiences through many of Presley’s legendary hits with the genuine sound, look and feel of the man himself.
Three performances will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Crum said,
“They can expect a lot of music,” he said. “Everyone leaves happy.”
Crum said he will be doing three costume changes and be featuring 60 songs that cover the entire range of Elvis’ career.
Crum’s impersonating is so compelling that he modeled for the Aloha Elvis figure released in 2008 by Macfarlane Toys. The 6-inch figure features Crum’s body with Elvis’ face, he said.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to win a brand new classic-style full-size jukebox provided by RetroWonders.com
A real-Life 1966 Batmobile and Star Wars characters will also be featured as well as a pinball showcase and a mobile video game theater appearing Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
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.