Comments from JOHNRUSKIN

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JOHNRUSKIN commented about Cinema 4 on Aug 11, 2006 at 2:01 am

On an additional note, while rereading old posts, PI asked if the origional auditorium still exists, well that depends. First of all the space has been divided in half lengthwise, and the balcony and stage walled off to create the 4 screens. Second the plaster is soggy and crumbeling, one can see the plaster capitals on the pilasters in the auditrorium, but they are in bad shape. The two side boxes, if you could call them that since they were accessed from the stage bathrooms, (they probably were the organ pipe chambers), have been butchered up, and as it was walled off, I couldn’t see the processium, so who knows what shape it is in. From what I remember, back when it was the South Hills, the place had a Medieval/castle theme, but after my tour, I would say that the origional style was a simplified classsical look circa the 1920’s. Think a typical downtown movie palace, but with mostly plain walls. That said though, the interior may have been remodeled in the 1940’s-50’s and simplified, So who knows.

JOHNRUSKIN commented about Cinema 4 on Aug 11, 2006 at 1:33 am

They are asking $300,000.

JOHNRUSKIN commented about Cinema 4 on Aug 9, 2006 at 5:50 am

I got a tour from the realestate agent the other day; the roof is leaking and most of the plaster is wet, the 4 auditoriums especially smell mouldy. This theater was origionally the South Hills Theater, whose single auditorium had a balcony that came down to the main floor, sort of an early form of stadium seating. There is a decent sized stage, (presently walled off), with about 6 dressing rooms, 3 to a side. There are several large office/lounge rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors, two with large arched windows that overlook the mainstreet. With a lot of work, this could be a very nice theater again.

JOHNRUSKIN commented about Hollywood Theater on Oct 11, 2004 at 10:54 am

This theater is located in one of the streetcar suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA. The homes in the surrounding neighborhood range in age from 60 to 90+ years old. As a kid my father took me to cartoons at the Hollywood in the early 1980’s. At this time there was still a marquee and the first floor was covered in turquoise metal or structural glass panels. The theater also still had an outdoor box office. Later in the mid 80’s the marquee was replaced with a large wall sign and the first floor was covered with stucco. The box office window was covered although the room is still intact. Inside was a small lobby with concession counter. Straight ahead was the art deco auditorium with light blue walls with large light fixtures down each side. There was a small balcony, thought I was never up there as it was always closed. In its last years discounted third-run movies were shone, I was probably last inside when my brother dragged me to see “Twister,” which he had already seen several times. Supposedly the building has been purchased, although the for sale sign is still up. Hopefully the theater will be saved. Nearby, (about five blocks away), on West Liberty Avenue, is the closed C-4 Cinema, formerly the South hills. As you can guess the theater was subdivided in the 1990’s into four theaters by the same guy who owned the Hollywood. The marquee is still partially intact on the beautiful stone exterior below four large two-story arched windows. In the first of two lobbies the floor is inlaid with masks of comedy & tragedy. These and the original play bill cases can be seen through the deco glass doors that flank the stainless steel box office. The auditorium before subdivision was in a castle theme and the seating configuration had a raised semi-balcony in the rear that resembles modern stadium seating. Supposedly there are backstage facilities and several bands apparently played there. Currently the place is rotting away with the last movies to play there still on the marquee and in the outside poster cases. The please is not listed for sale, but should be saved as well.