Hollywood Theater

1449 Potomac Avenue,
Dormont, PA 15216

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Showing 1 - 25 of 118 comments

CSWalczak on August 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm

The Hollywood has a new director who is working to bring digital projection to the theater: View article

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm

A photo of the Hollywood Theatre illustrates an ad for Cutler-Hammer dimmers on this page of Motion Picture News from December 29, 1928.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 7:34 am

Dormont, by the Dormont Historical Society (Google Books preview), says that the Hollywood Theatre opened as Murray’s Theatre in 1922. A few years later, it was bought by RKO-Stanley, remodeled, and renamed the Hollywood.

This comment from 2007 by thespian110, on the Cinema 4 page, says that the original architect of the Hollywood Theatre was Charles R. Geisler, but doesn’t specify if he designed the Murray Theatre of 1922 or if he was the architect of its remodeling a few years later as the Hollywood, or both. The architect of the 1948 remodeling was Victor A. Rigaumont, in any case.

SusanD on February 25, 2012 at 5:59 am

They’ll be showing “The Big Lebowski” this weekend (02/25/2012). Whoo-hooo! One of my three favorite slacker films from my teens and twenties—the other two being “Wayne’s World” and of course “Clerks”.

CSWalczak on May 8, 2011 at 9:12 pm

The theater has reopened as a non-profit: View link

dwbairborne on April 22, 2011 at 8:05 am

The Hollywood will be used in a movie that will start shooting around Pittsburgh in a couple
of months.

kathaz324 on March 23, 2011 at 9:12 am

I moved to this area last summer and have thought about how great it would be to have this theater open to walk to. It’s such a cute street to stroll down, the theater would be such an asset. I have also seen the “Opening Soon” sign posted recetly. I can’t wait to find out when that will be!

dwbairborne on March 19, 2011 at 8:35 am

My mistake. I ment (as of today March, 19. 2011)

dwbairborne on March 19, 2011 at 8:33 am

The Hollywood Theater will reopen. Has been closed for the past year plus.
The Marquee (as of today March, 19. 2010) states,,,
Opening Soon.
I will provide details soon.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Had the look of a small town Theatre too me,which is not bad.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 31, 2010 at 3:46 am

A 1948 catalog of copyright entries from the Library of Congress includes an entry for a copyright, dated February 10, to architect Victor A. Rigaumont, covering 45 pages of specifications and illustrations of the Hollywood Theatre in Dormont.

The same catalog has five other entries for copyrights granted to Rigaumont, so apparently he was in the habit of copyrighting his designs. As in those days material had to be published in order to qualify for copyright, his plans must have been published, even if only a few copies of each were made. I wonder what has become of those publications?

Robin Roz
Robin Roz on October 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm

What’s happening with this place and the Denis?

TLSLOEWS on June 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Nice youtube movie of the Hollywood Theatre.

MPol on November 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Neat theatre—neat schedule of movies!!

independentfilm on November 19, 2009 at 7:21 pm

We show all kinds of formats, 35mm, blu-ray, dvd and digital server

HowardBHaas on November 17, 2009 at 8:23 am

What’s shown now? films in 35 mm or DVDs?

carolgrau on November 8, 2009 at 10:38 am

This is great news, I only ever worked this theatre once. I ran night shift with Henry Winkler and Mike Keaton, on an all day Sat. shift. What a great place and gravy job a single theatre with a platter. The people who ran it were very nice, and as all us Pittsburghers very friendly.

independentfilm on November 8, 2009 at 8:06 am

The Hollywood is alive in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. With over six new films opening every week and the seating capacity increased to 400, the Hollywood offers Pittsburgh its best movie experience.

It’s also Pittsburgh’s only byob theatre

Check us out on www.hollywooddormont.com

JodarMovieFan on August 2, 2009 at 8:10 pm

I’m curious as to how the place looks on the INSIDE. It went from a 980 seat theater, with balcony to only 298 seats? So what happened to all that space that opened up after the removal of the 700 seats or so. Also, does the place still have balcony seating for movies?

MPol on August 1, 2009 at 9:03 am

Neat-o!! Glad to read/hear about the Hollywood Theatre’s re-opening.

dwbairborne on July 31, 2009 at 9:34 am

I documented the restoration of the Hollywood
back in 2006-2007. I shot hundreds of images.
I created a Qtime movie of what the Hollywood
looked like before being remodeled.
it has music

johnmaggio on July 31, 2009 at 8:05 am

Stop out on Saturday August 1st at 6 PM for the Grand Reopening! There will be a ribbon cutting, cake, and a special appearance by B Movie Director Jim Wynorski. Mr. Wynorski will be presented a Citation from Pennsylvania,celebrating his work, stating Saturday B Movie Night in Dormont. He will then introduce his classic film “Chopping Mall”. Check out the Hollywood Theater website www.hollywooddormont.com for the August schedule. It includes everything from Jerry Lewis to John Wayne to Quentin Tarantino’s latest film! And check out the Facebook Page The Hollywood Theater for more pictures and stories.

HowardBHaas on July 31, 2009 at 7:14 am

This is from the official website, as History:
Originally built in 1924, The Hollywood building was gutted and rebuilt by Warner Bros. Theaters in the late 1940’s. Its seating capacity was about 914. The Hollywood was a deluxe second run venue, playing Warner, Universal, RKO, Disney and United Artists product. The Harris SouthHills, a mile or two away (capacity about 1300) ran the Fox, MGM, Columbia and Paramount films.

The decor of the Hollywood was art deco and featured a small balcony (seating about 100). A lower level lounge beneath the lobby included overstuffed couches and easy chairs â€" and as the popularity of television increased back in the ’50’s â€" a large screen black and white tv. The rear wall of the lobby (actually the back wall of the main auditorium) was mostly glass (usually covered with a drape that could be opened to accommodate standing room crowds who could watch the film and hear the soundtrack from speakers in the lobby ceiling).

The marquee, containing literally thousands of bulbs and two glass attraction panels, was removed when the city widened the street and the glass tile facade was replaced with stucco.

After the consent decree, the Hollywood was transferred to the Stanley-Warner circuit and was eventually sold (along with the remaining SW properties) to Cinemette Theaters. Ownership was later transferred to the Neighborhood Theaters circuit that closed the building after several years on a dollar policy. Property owner Richard Stern and his CineMagic reopened the theatre prior to its final closing.

For many years in the 1950’s and 1960’s the Hollywood Theatre, with its seating capacity of 980, was one of Stanley Warner’s main second-run neighborhood houses in Pittsburgh, and even enjoyed a spell as a first-run house in the late 1960’s. Later on, Associated Theatres bought S-W’s holdings in the area, which were then sold to Cinema World.

There were several failed attempts to bring this grand old theatre back to life.

In 2009 Motion Picture Heritage committed to re-opening The Hollywood and restoring it to her former glory.

MPH is Mid West 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.”

moviegoermike on July 2, 2009 at 9:33 am

Great news! Thanks to Mad Monkey for the upcoming schedule, above. “The Big Lebowski” on the big screen?! Wow! The street display case now sports a “B Movie Nation” poster, and another for “Clancy,” w/o date. The PopCityMedia piece (see Howard B Hass’s post, just above) mentions a film mix of “classics, indies, and contemporary studio fare.” The South Hills area has nothing else like this. Along with local families and youth, the Hollywood could draw the kind of audiences who now patronize the Harris (downtown) and the Regent Sq. (east side), two of Pittsburgh Filmmakers screens. A cafe? Bring it on! Eating out on Potomac before or after. Sure!

Yes, parking in Dormont is awful, to put it charitably. Who knows if/when that will change? But the Hollywood’s management should keep in mind that the venue is just a block from the Potomac “T” station, and the “T” runs until fairly late. W. Liberty Ave bus routes also stop just a block away. This means patronage from places like Castle Shannon, Mt. Lebo, Oakland and other parts of Pgh.

Question: an online search doesn’t turn up much about Motion Picture Heritage (Organization? Corporation?) or its Bill Devers. There’s a mention on this board of MPH’s involvement in restoring the SkyLine Drive-In, Shelbyville, IN. They’re also trying to help locals in Oakland, CA save a second-run house. Anyone have more info on MPH and Devers? Thanks.