Regent Square Theater is premiering the new AMC series Low Winter Sun on July 29 for free

Regent Square Theater is showing a sneak peek of the premiere of Low Winter Sun, the newest AMC series, on Monday, July 29 at 8pm.  Described as “a story of murder, deception, revenge and corruption in a world where the line between the cops and the criminals is blurred,” hopes are high for this complex drama.

Up to 4 tickets are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis at the theater’s box office or the Pittsburgh Filmmakers front desk (open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm). There’s a nationwide Q & A session via Skype afterwards with the director, producer, and some of the cast members.

Filmed on location in Detroit, director Ernest Dickerson describes it as a film noir. “It’s about a hero who finds himself at the center of some very dark events, who has to try to get out, who wants redemption.”

Lennie James, one of the show’s main stars (Walking Dead viewers will remember him as Morgan, Rick’s saving grace in the first episode), said “this isn’t a story about the minutiae of police work. This is a thriller about people who have secrets and have ulterior motives.”

AMC has produced some of the most promising shows in recent memory, such as Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Walking Dead. Low Winter Sun is set to premiere on TV on August 11, after the premiere of the final season of Breaking Bad (who else cannot wait for this??). And by the way, Breaking Bad fans, David Costabile aka Gale has a role in this new series.

Cultural District’s Gallery Crawl Tonight


Looking for something to do tonight? Want to do something free? Want to culture yourself? Impress your friends with newfound knowledge of artistry? (Maybe that last part’s just me.) Come join other partons of the arts at the Cultural District’s free quarterly Gallery Crawl. The crawl runs tonight, Friday, July 12th, from 5:30-9 p.m., and participants can start from any of the many locations.

There is so much going on at the crawl tonight, but I’ll include some unique highlights here. There’s comedy, a cell phone disco, documentaries, live music, photography, yoga, a night arts market, dance lessons, and, of course art.

Check out the Cultural Trust’s page or the brochure below for more details.





Guide to Pittsburgh’s Independent Movie Theaters

When the weather starts heating up, sometimes the only thing to do is go inside. This season many of us will take to the air-conditioned refuge of our local megaplexes. To switch things up, I offer you a list of local independently owned theaters. Many of the theaters screen the same new releases, but also provide character and unique programming.

Hollywood Theater475193_275212485896001_1501098987_o

1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont


The Hollywood plays a wide variety of movies as well as special film events. Known for its Rocky Horror Picture Show performances, as well as its “Breakfast and a Movie” series (just what it says, breakfast, and a movie) there’s something for everyone. The single-screened theater is a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing Potomac Avenue and Dormont by providing a theater and community center.

The Strand

119 North Main St., Zelienople


The Strand offers a variety of films as well as live performances. The Rocky Horror Picture Show screens regularly (17 & over only) and yes, you can throw things at this performance. The theater screens classics like Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, but you can also find live shows at The Strand. The nonprofit theater was restored in 2002, and wants to expand the project.

The Manor

1729 Murray Avenue, Pittsburgh


The Manor theater screens both wide-release and independent movies, at often lower prices than the megaplexes. The Manor also boasts “The M Bar” in the lobby where patrons can bring alcoholic drinks into the theater. Check out the “Manor at Midnight” series, when the theater screens classic movies Saturdays at midnight.

Harris Theater

a little history?

a little history? (Photo credit: macwagen)

809 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh


Owned by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and programmed by Pittsburgh Filmmakers ,the Harris Theater is a classic movie house in the heart of the Cultural District. The theater screens foreign and contemporary independent films, and is also part of the Three Rivers Film Festival.

Oaks Theater

310 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont


The single screen Oaks Theater screens both new releases and cult classics. Check out the summer series “Moonlit Matinees”, where Oaks screens a cult classic every Friday and Saturday night. Once a month, the theater hosts the “Cine Bruch”, where movie fans can watch and munch on a delicious Oakmont Bakery brunch.

Regent Square

Regent Sq Theater

1035 South Braddock Ave., Pittsburgh


Owned and operated by Pittsburgh Filmmakers, this single screen theater plays limited release independent movies seven days a week. In addition, every Sunday night the Regent Square theater hosts “The Sunday Series”, a monthly series of film screenings based around a theme, era, or director.

Melwood Screening Room

477 Melwood Ave., Pittsburgh


Located within the Pittsburgh Filmmakers building, the Melwood Screening Room is the youngest of the independent theaters on this list. The screening room plays independent features, and hosts “Film Kitchen” on the second Tuesday of every month.“Film Kitchen” is a series featuring local short films. The filmmakers are present at the screening and available for discussion after the show.


View Independent Theaters in Pittsburgh in a larger map

What’s your favorite theater in Pittsburgh? Seen any good movies lately?

“Ian Watches” PGH Movie of the Week: Adventureland

Adventureland (film)

Adventureland (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the inaugural post of what will hopefully become a weekly event. Basically I watch movies based or filmed in and around the Pittsburgh area, give a quick spiel about the movie, and display all of the Pittsburgh locations shown in the movie. That way, if you so please, you can visit said locations and say, “Hey, Batman was on this sidewalk!” If that’s the kind of thing you’re into. Also for those movies filmed in Pittsburgh, but not set in Pittsburgh in the movie’s plot, I will reveal the giveaways of how the movie messed up in hiding the fact that it’s Pittsburgh (kind of a snobby, “nice try, but you won’t fool us!” kind of thing). For film suggestions that you’d like to see, please comment or submit them via e-mail at

This week’s installment is the 2009 comedy Adventureland, starring the likes of Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, and Kristen Wiig, among others. It was filmed on location at Kennywood park and some other local areas that we’ll get to later. Set in 1987, it’s about a recent college graduate who ends up living at home for the summer in Pittsburgh and working a job at the local theme park “Adventureland” (Kennywood). It’s a little dated, but seeing as it’s early into Summer, I thought it would be an appropriate start with all of the Kennywood picnic outings and memorable (for better or worse) summer jobs in full swing. Plus, it seems like plenty of people still make the connection between Kennywood and the film.

Though I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone (it garnered an R rating “for language, drug use, and sexual references”), I thought it was a charming, funny, coming-of-age/finding-your-place film. It’s well-casted and there are Pittsburgh references and familiar sites all throughout the film.

However, within moments of the start when Eisenberg’s character learns that he has to live at home during the summer, one of his snobby, yuppie friends comments “Summer in Pittsburgh, that’s [expletive] harsh.” To which Eisenberg responds, “They don’t like people like us where I’m from, we’re romantics.” Speak for yourself, pal! Another unbelievable part occurs when Eisenberg’s character scoffs at the idea of taking journalism courses at Pitt with the possibility of interning on “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood,” calling it a “children’s show with marionettes.” Now what Pittsburgher in their right mind would ever have anything negative to say about Fred Rogers?

Grudges aside, there are some other nice local references. For instance, one character tries to get Lisa P. (the “popular” 80’s chick working the Music Express) to go to a Judas Priest concert at the Civic Arena. Although I’ve found no evidence that Judas Priest actually ever played the Civic Arena, the small detail was a nice touch. The rest of the soundtrack is pretty awesome as well, especially if you like Lou Reed. Eisenberg makes K-Stew cassette mix tapes with Lou Reed songs and talks about how he’s his personal hero, while Ryan Reynolds claims to have jammed with Lou Reed to the awe of all his coworkers (even though he consistently mispronounces “Satellite of Love” at one point). Seriously, Lou Reed is all over this movie (I ain’t mad). Note: there are some nice shots of local sites in the video as well.

Woah heads up, Jack Lambert jersey sighting:

Move K-Stew, there's a vintage Yinzer behind you!

Move K-Stew, there’s a vintage Yinzer behind you!

Anyways, there are some other really awesome Kennywood locations featured throughout the movie. Here are just a few that I picked out:

Check out Eisenberg and Reynolds hanging out by the shooting gallery, which I’m unsure is even still in existence.

Ah, Eisenberg and Reynolds are at it again (best friends forever)! This time at the Music Express.

And what’s this? Are those some Parachutes I spy lighting up the background? This was during the 4th of July scene of the movie (another popular real-life Kennywood affair) and there’s a great shot of fireworks lighting up the sky over “the Racer.”

You may recognize many of the sites in just the opening credits as well, like the 16th Street Bridge (which gets a lot of action throughout the film), hills lined with houses in Homestead, and the Stardust Lounge in Moon Township (it’s a real bar).

16th St. Bridge

16th St. Bridge

Homestead and the Phantom's Revenge

Homestead and the Phantom’s Revenge

Homestead (background) and the Thunderbolt

Homestead (background) and the Thunderbolt

The Stardust Lounge in Moon Township

The Stardust Lounge in Moon Township, a popular hang-out in Adventureland

So there are some of the spots featured in Adventureland. Trust me, there are plenty more, and if you haven’t seen the movie, check it out (if you’re over the age of 17 and are not offended by  “language, drug use, and sexual references” of course). Then you can go to Kennywood and (gasp) stand in the same spot as K-Stew or Ryan Reynolds, or just enjoy the familiar sites of summertime in Pittsburgh.

One more thing:

Ok, something’s definitely up here. Everyone knows it’s utterly impossible to have any control over the bumper cars at Kennywood (maybe all bumper cars for that matter), and to successfully enjoy them without waking up to a stiff neck since no one bothers to wear the nasty, dirty, sweatband-like material seat belts of the bumper cars and absolutley NOBODY avoids head-on collisions. But that’s why we love you Kennywood.

Remember for a movie filmed in the Pittsburgh area that you’d like to see over-analyzed for local references here, comment below or drop me a line at

The 2013 Pittsburgh Cinema in the Park series kicks off on Saturday

Pittsburgh Cinema in the Park
Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Citiparks

The Dollar Bank Cinema in the Park series resumes for the 2013 season this Saturday, June 8 at dusk. The free event, hosted at various local city parks, invites movie-goers to lay back, relax, and enjoy weekly movie screenings.

The series features both kid-friendly G- and PG-rated flicks, such as Finding Nemo and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax,  as well as popular PG-13 films like The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, and The Hunger Games.

Guests are asked not to bring alcoholic beverages, but snacks, drinks, and chairs and blankets are encouraged.

Flagstaff Hill also has a Wednesday night concert series before the movie starts with musical performances from 7-8 p.m.

Inclement weather may cause cancellations, so visit the Cinema in the Park website or call 412-422-6426 for more information.

Check out the movie listings below or click on the map for a list of film dates and locations.

Interactive map of Pittsburgh Cinema in the Park

Click for an Interactive map of Pittsburgh Cinema in the Park movie dates and locations.

Arsenal Park
Location: 39th and Butler Streets, Lawrenceville
Dates: Fridays, June 14 – August 30, 2013
Time: Dusk

June 14- Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (PG)

June 21- Hook (PG)

June 28- Thunderstruck (PG)

July 5- Hotel Transylvania (PG)

July 12- The Goonies (PG)

July 19- Rise of the Guardians (PG)

July 26- Finding Nemo (G)

August 2- ParaNorman (PG)

August 9- Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (PG)

August 16- Jumanji (PG)

August 23- Jack the Giant Slayer (PG-13)

August 30- Chimpanzee (G)


Brookline Memorial Park
Location: Oakridge Street, Brookline
Dates: Thursdays, June 13 – August 29, 2013
Time: Dusk

June 13- Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (PG)

June 20- Hook (PG)

June 27- Thunderstruck (PG)

July 4- Holiday – no movie

July 11- The Goonies (PG)

July 18- Rise of the Guardians (PG)

July 25- Finding Nemo (G)

August 1- ParaNorman (PG)

August 8- Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (PG)

August 15- Jumanji (PG)

August 22- Jack the Giant Slayer (PG-13)

August 29- Chimpanzee (G)


Schenley Park
Location: Flagstaff Hill
Dates: Sundays and Wednesdays, June 9 – August 28, 2013
Time: Dusk

Wednesday Night Concert Series at Flagstaff Hill
Come early to enjoy mid-week musical performances.
Time: 7-8 p.m. (before the movies begin at dusk)

June 9- The Pirates! Band of Misfits (PG)

June 12- The Amazing Spider-Man (PG-13) Concert: Jeff Bush

June 16- Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (PG)

June 19- Men in Black (PG-13) Concert: ’Lamint

June 23- Hook (PG)

June 26- Jack Reacher (PG-13) Concert: Patti Spadaro Band

June 30- Thunderstruck (PG)

July 3- The Dark Night Rises (PG-13) Concert: Muddy Kreek Blues Band

July 7- Hotel Transylvania (PG)

July 10- The Vow (PG-13) Concert: Swing Nova

July 14- The Goonies (PG)

July 17- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (PG-13) Concert: Savvy Band

July 21- Rise of the Guardians (PG)

July 24- The Tuskegee Airmen (PG-13) Concert: theFIVE6

July 28- Finding Nemo (G)

July 31- The Hunger Games (PG-13) Concert: Shinizyn

August 4- ParaNorman (PG)

August 7- Lincoln (PG-13) Concert: Bobby Short Band

August 11- Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (PG)

August 14- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (PG-13) Concert: Bridgette Perdue

August 18- Jumanji (PG)

August 21- Skyfall (PG-13) Concert: The Grid

August 25- Jack the Giant Slayer (PG-13)

August 28- The Avengers (PG-13) Concert: Daniels & McClain


Grandview Park
Location: Bailey Avenue, Mt. Washington
Date: Saturdays, June 8 – August 31, 2013
Time: Dusk

June 8- The Pirates! Band of Misfits (PG)

June 15- Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (PG)

June 22- Hook (PG)

June 29- Thunderstruck (PG)

July 6- Hotel Transylvania (PG)

July 13- The Goonies (PG)

July 20- Rise of the Guardians (PG)

July 27- Finding Nemo (G)

August 3- ParaNorman (PG)

August 10- Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (PG)

August 17- Jumanji (PG)

August 24- Jack the Giant Slayer (PG-13)

August 31- Chimpanzee (G)


Highland Park
Location: Reservoir Drive
Dates: 3 Mondays, June 17, July 15 and August 19
Time: Dusk

June 17- Hook (PG)

July 15- Rise of the Guardians (PG)

August 19- Jack the Giant Slayer (PG-13)


Riverview Park
Location: Observatory Hill
Dates: Saturdays, June 8 – August 31, 2013
Time: Dusk

June 8- American Graffiti (PG)

June 15- The Amazing Spider-Man (PG-13)

June 22- Men in Black 3 (PG-13)

June 29- Jack Reacher (PG-13)

July 6- The Dark Knight Rises (PG-13)

July 13- Psycho (PG-13)

July 20- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (PG-13)

July 27- The Tuskegee Airmen (PG-13)

August 3- The Hunger Games (PG-13)

August 10- Lincoln (PG-13)

August 17- Casablanca (PG)

August 24- Skyfall (PG-13)

August 31- The Avengers (PG-13)


West End- Elliott Overlook Park
Location: Elliott Overlook
Dates: Tuesdays, June 11 – August 27, 2013
Time: Dusk

June 11- Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (PG)

June 18- Hook (PG)

June 25- Thunderstruck (PG)

July 2- Hotel Transylvania (PG)

July 9- The Goonies (PG)

July 16- Rise of the Guardians (PG)

July 23- Finding Nemo (G)

July 30- ParaNorman (PG)

August 6- Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (PG)

August 13- Jumanji (PG)

August 20- Jack the Giant Slayer (PG-13)

August 27- Chimpanzee (G)