West Hills Cinema

West Hills, PA

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I’m going from 30 year old memories. Not even sure that West Hills was it’s actual name or just what we called it. I remember this theater as modern (for 1970’s) big box, huge 70mm shallow curved screen with a grand moving curtain, located in West Hills (suburbs) of Pittsburgh.

The West Hills would get the movies after the downtown theaters where done with the first runs. Occasionally it would get first runs, such as “The Love Bug”, and follow-ons to “The Love Bug”. I remember this vividly as my dad was a VW salesman at McMillan and Beaer VW and they displayed VW Beetles in the lobby during the runs.

I was hoping that someone could fill in the blanks regarding seating, etc. If the Warner had almost 2,000 seats, the West Hills must have had 4,000. It just seemed huge to me as compared with the Warner downtown. The West Hills didn’t have a balcony as I remember it.

The West Hills got “Earthquake” with Sensurround after the Warner was done with it. I saw it at both and was more scared that the old Warner Theatre was going to crumble around me. The West Hills Sensurround experience was not as powerful in the huge theater which had about 20 people in it when I saw the movie as compared with the Warner which was filled to capacity. With the Sensurround speakers installed, the West Hills also got “Midway”, “Rollercoaster”, and “Battlestar Galactica” I think during their first run which were satisfying Sensurround experiences.

I remember going up to the big horns of the Sensurround speakers at the front of the theater and the two back speakers that were mounted on the backs of the rear seats to gawk in amazement that the horns were as big as me. Darn if I should have known to sit right in front of the speaker horns, but I wanted the center of the screen experience.

Contributed by Paul Fordenbacher

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

sydneybird on July 28, 2007 at 9:57 am

Well, after thinking about this and refreshing my memories, the theater name is actually South Hills Villiage. I asked the webmaster to either correct the name or delete this post and I’ll start another under the new name. Sorry for the confusion.

dave-bronx™ on July 29, 2007 at 8:04 am

The Village Theatre is listed here on this site – see theatre #9335.

sydneybird on July 29, 2007 at 9:35 am

Thank you dave-bronx, you are absolutely correct. My mistake. Forgot that Upper St. Clair, PA is an actual city and not included in the listing for Pittsburgh. The webmaster should delete this listing.

jrs99 on August 6, 2007 at 10:04 am

No don’t delete this entry. The West Hills theater was an actual theater.It was open in the mid 1980’s and only stayed open for a few years. It had 4 screens. I believe it was located on University blvd. between route 60 and route 51 in moon township.I know for a fact this was a real theater I remember seeing it in an old newpaper.I also rememeber seeing the theater itself.

SusanD on March 25, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Look at Rivest’s link in his comments on the Northway Mall. The newspaper ads he links to do show a West Hills Theater existed in the 1980s.

gwanner66 on March 23, 2010 at 5:47 am

West Hills was a 4-screen theater that showed independent/foreign films in the 1980s. Films I saw there included Kiss of the Spider Woman, Blue Velvet, Baghdad Cafe, and My Life as a Dog.

71dude on April 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm

This is the West Hills cinema that existed in the 1980s: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/29178

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