I Love the Cinema.

No one calls it that anymore.  It’s “the movies” or “the theater”.  No one calls it “the cinema”.

Courtesy Post Gazette
Courtesy Post Gazette

I was reminded of the reopening of the ominous Hollywood Theater that has taunted me for ages, sitting empty for so long on Potomic in Dormont, PA.  For ages, I always wished I had the resources to restore something like that or the C4 on West Liberty.

The theater attempted to open a couple of years ago, running “second run” flicks for the neighborhood.  I always wanted to check it out, but only my brother was able to check a viewing of The Simpsons there.  Thanks to Veronica reminding me of the first showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show under the new management, I checked out the site to find the new Inglorious Basterds was playing.  After some wrangling of some co-workers, we ventured to check the venue out.

We parked within a block, and just the short walk, you find the streets flooded with the crazy blue neon sign on the front marquee.  We walked in to find a spacious lobby, with a large concession stand and a lounge-esque area on the right side.  The bathrooms, I know, I’m reviewing the bathrooms here, are remeniscant, though not as upkept, of course, as the theaters down town, where you go downstairs to what’s like a lobby for the bathroom.  So I walked up to join my friends, whom decided the balcony was worth checking out.  I scaled the steps to find a cavernous theater space.  The front rows were some 20+ feet back from a nice sized screen, still dwarfed by the size of the room, and an attached stage beneath.  The seats, I’m told, were all replaced, and the place now sports recliner style seats like you would see at Lowes or Destinta nearby.   Lining the back of the seats below, and up on the balcony behind it’s two rows of typical seating, are more lounge tables and seats.  This is most likely for those who like to partake with the theater’s BYOB policy.

Now, I don’t really expect this theater to be so lucky to see first run movies such as Inglorious Basterds all of the time.  But looking at the previous and upcoming lineups of Rocky Horror, Chopping Mall, Troma’s Poultrygeist, and Dead Snow, I’m looking forward to the grindhouse, b-movie feel this place is oozing.  And I’m wasn’t so surp rised after I found that Bruce, the guy behind the insanely amazing (and I wish I had supported with a membership) Incredibly Strange Video that used to grace West Liberty.

I’ve always had a thing for this sort of place, and it’s better than any I’d seen.  I’ve had the fortune to visit the Oaks Theater (Bubba Ho Tep), the Harris Theater (Cowboy Bebop: The Movie), and grew up seeing a couple of Disney movies back home in Greenville at the Jordan Theater…now a church parking lot as of 2004.  I can only hope this theater can thrive the way these others have seemed to the few years I’ve been in this town.