The Nostalgia Nights car show (above and below) at one of its heights of popularity, during May 2009 in downtown Pottstown
POTTSTOWN PA – An entertainment loss in Pottstown looks to be North Coventry Township’s gain.
The Pottstown Classics Car Club, which for years attracted crowds to its monthly summer Nostalgia Nights car shows on East High Street in the downtown shopping district, is moving those displays to parking areas outside the Coventry Mall, 351 W. Schuylkill Rd., the club announced Tuesday (Feb. 5, 2019) on its Facebook page. The location change begins with its first event on May 4.
In sunny weather and mild temperatures, the shows occasionally brought 200 or more refurbished or vintage automobiles of all makes and types to line both sides of the street. Visitors and car enthusiasts would stroll among them, looking fondly at but never touching their usually lustrous painted finishes and sparking chrome.
Club members also used the shows as a platform to promote downtown merchants and charitable causes.
The club publicly thanked Borough Council members and Pottstown residents for their past hospitality. However, its message and comments to Facebook readers also made it clear that costs the borough had imposed for conducting the shows were deemed too onerous to keep them downtown.
During 2018, the club claimed, the borough charged it a fee of $315 per show. Additional expenses for suppliers of items like portable bathroom facilities, security services, and traffic flaggers drove last year’s per-show costs to about $900 monthly, it added. For 2019, the club also said, the borough requested it to increase insurance coverages from $1 million to $3 million.
“With the extra costs incurred to us last year, and the fact that we are an aging club, it has gotten to be too much for us to continue” Nostalgia Nights shows on East High, it concluded. The club said it determined, before announcing the move, that it would also increase entry costs for the 2019 Nostalgia Nights to $15 per car.
The new mall location for the shows will be its “lower” parking lot near the Community Health and Dental offices. Some Facebook commenters lamented that shows would not be readily seen in the mall’s front lots by passing traffic, but mall management explained some tenant leases prohibited that site. The club noted the mall food court was only a short walk away for refreshments. Visitor parking also will be easily accessible.
Nostalgia Night shows are scheduled for Saturdays from 5-9 p.m., on May 4, June 1, July 6, Aug. 3, and Sept. 14., according to a graphic provided by the club.
The shows’ move comes at a time of merchant upheaval in the shopping district. Several new restaurants and entertainment venues have recently opened, and more are expected, the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority reports. During the past week alone, though, three long-time retailers also have said they will close or relocate.
- Editor’s note: This story was edited at 10:27 a.m. to improve readability.
Photo by The Post Publications