Movies

Essential Pittsburgh
6:29 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Pittsburgh's Historic Theaters and a New Throwback to the Neighborhood Cinema

The Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville.
Credit Row House Cinema / Facebook

For generations theaters have been an important part of thriving cities and towns across the country. In recent years more people are seeing how theaters can be an economic engine of development.

The Conclave Theater tour is held every year in a different city. This year Pittsburgh hosts the tour, showcasing the region's contributions to theatrical architecture.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:01 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

The Summer Movie Season, What to go See and What to Stream

Grab your blanket or lawn chair and get ready for free outdoor cinema season.
Credit Cinema in the Park / Citiparks

The official start of summer might still be a few weeks away, but the summer movie season is already under way. In late May and early June, major studios bring their biggest movies of the year to theaters and drive-ins across the nation, hoping for a blockbuster. 

Pittsburgh City Paper movie critic Al Hoff dropped by to talk about the must-see movies, and which movies are better left to be watched on Netflix. 

The biggest film of the summer, at least thus far, is Godzilla. Hoff said she enjoyed the monster but thought the characters could use more work.

“I think they rounded up some really great actors and I think they didn’t give them anything to do other than stand around and react to explosions and buildings falling. Number one, there was three great actresses in that film that had absolutely nothing to do. Two of them you weren’t even sure what their role was, and then the third was just the imperiled mom, which is a waste of anyone that can act. It was a little baffling to me but obviously the focus of the film is Godzilla and the other monsters,” said Hoff.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:35 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Pittsburgh City Paper Writer Al Hoff Weighs in on the Oscar Buzz

The Academy Awards are right around the corner, Sunday March 2nd to be exact. There’s plenty of speculation about who’s likely to win, along with conversation about who's worthy of the awards.

Al Hoff is our movie contributor and a film critic for the Pittsburgh City Paper. She's parsed through the top Oscar contenders and says based on critic responses, the two favorites in many categories are American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:58 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

The Chair: One Movie Script, One City, Two Directors

Credit Brook Ward / flickr

One feature film, two directors, a pool of equal resources and the city of Pittsburgh.

This is the premise of a new documentary series titled The Chair starting production this month.

Chris Moore, creator of Project Greenlight and producer of movies such as Good Will Hunting and Promised Land, developed the idea for the series.

Moore has reached out to directors Shane Dawson and Anna Martemucci to see what direction a single production can take under different directors

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New to the 'Burgh
1:26 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Grab Some Popcorn: 7 Theaters Every Pittsburgh Movie Buff Should Experience

The Harris Theater in downtown Pittsburgh.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Finding a good movie theater is like falling in love.

The match between theater and audience-member is an important one; lifelong bonds can be formed if the connection resonates, and viewing a movie in the right venue can mean the difference between a relaxing day off and a bitter drive home.

Each person has their own needs for a theater, be them movie selection, general size or atmosphere. If you’re new in town, how could you be expected to choose an afternoon sanctuary when you can barely find your way around the city?

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:09 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

City Paper Critic Says "Pacific Rim is So Much Better Than the Trailer"

Did Pacific Rim live up to your expectations?
Credit Pacific Rim / Facebook

A diverse array of films are hitting screens around town. One film of note for the average Pittsburgher is A New York Heartbeat. Pittsburgh City Paper film critic, Al Hoff says movie makers attempted to make Pittsburgh look like Brooklyn in the 1950s. When Hoff asked the film creator why the film was shot in Pittsburgh, she was told it's because of the city’s “gritty alleys, rusty bridges and lack of contemporary graffiti.” Hoff describes the film as a small-scale movie, with a low budget feel, but not bad if you’re looking for an off-beat love story and views of Pittsburgh.

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Community
11:48 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Free Outdoor Music and Movies Return to Pittsburgh

Grab the blankets, picnic baskets and lawn chairs because the free outdoor music and movie season is back in Pittsburgh.

This weekend marks the beginning of both the 2013 Allegheny County and Pittsburgh Citiparks summer music and movies series.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:19 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Lights, Camera But Where's the Action?

31st Street Studios is said to have the biggest sound stage east of the Mississippi River
Credit 31 Street Studios / Facebook

In recent years the number of movies shot in Pittsburgh has some people calling us "Hollywood East."  However, it appears the city and state have become victims of their own success.

Filmmakers have gravitated to Pittsburgh over the years for a number of reasons, including affordability. But Pennsylvania's current tax credit allotment is capped at $60 million a year.  That money dries up quickly in the film industry. So how can Pennsylvania keep up with states like Louisiana, and Georgia, which have no tax credit limit? And what more can be done to lure film and television production to the state?

Guest

Chris Breakwell CEO of 31st Street Studios.