Motion Picture Heritage Breathes Live Back Into Hollywood Theatre

posted by independentfilm on June 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Dormont’s Hollywood Theater has made its second major announcement this month.

Earlier in June, the Hollywood announced it would reopen to screen classic films on weekends with the assistance of the Bradley Center, a team of volunteers and Dormont Borough Council President John Maggio. However, Maggio is now reporting the Hollywood will reopen fulltime under new leadership in August, thanks to interest from Motion Picture Heritage (MPH).

MPH is an Indianapolis-based group that rehabilitates and operates classic cinemas nationwide in conjunction with community activists. It will be subleasing the space for two years, with the option for an additional six, from the Bradley Center, which leases the building from Hollywood Partners LLP.

The Hollywood was last operated as a second-run theater by the Bradley Center between 2007 and 2008.

Plans for the 298-seat venue, which underwent more than $300,000 in renovations in 2007, include a café, an eventual liquor license and live music performances. Films will range from classics to cutting-edge indies to contemporary major studio fare, says Bill Dever with MPH.

“We don’t want the Hollywood to be just a movie theater; we want it to be a complete experience,” says Dever. “Potomac Avenue has a huge potential for restaurants and shops, so we want to help create foot traffic for our neighbors. People get a meal before or movie, or grab a beer afterward. We’ve seen situations like this where revitalized theaters have really improved local economies.”

The Hollywood, located at 1449 Potomac Ave., is in the heart of one of Dormont’s two business corridors, the other being along West Liberty Avenue. Dormont is celebrating its centennial this year, with a week of activities and events kicking off June 27. One such happening is Buy Local week, which encourages sustainable shopping habits by promoting independent businesses in both of Dormont’s commercial districts.

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