Cinema 4

3075 W. Liberty Avenue,
Dormont, PA 15216

Unfavorite 9 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 78 comments

edblank on April 10, 2018 at 11:05 am

Cinema 4, knows for nearly all of its existence as the South Hills, was sold in August 2000 by Michael Cardone to Richard Dobrushin of Key Productions. The new owner removed the seats from one auditorium with the idea of turning it into a club. Not sure if that ever happened. In June or July of 2001 Dormont Boro closed the theater. It sat unoccupied for many years – perhaps a decade before being razed. A large pharmacy was constructed on the property. The Overview here should be changed to read “Demolished.”

pittsburghorbit on April 10, 2018 at 9:54 am

“Along Came a Spider,” “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles,” and “Blow” (see marquee from one of the photos) were all released in 2001, so I think that’s more accurately the last year the theater was open.

popcorn_pete on March 1, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Opened 1927 by Harris Amusements Company. Quadrupled 1994 into Cinema 4, last film screened 1998

SusanD on September 2, 2012 at 7:29 am

Those photos of the Cinema 4/South Hills Theater in ruins are amazing. Sad, but amazing.

dwbrendel on March 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I shot the last interior images in The South Hills Theater. The next day it was all gone. I also documented the restoration of The Hollywood Theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 7:36 am

This comment from 2007 by thespian110 says that the architect of the Harris South Hills Theatre was Charles R. Geisler.

rj on March 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm

The South Hills theatre may be gone, but remnants of the front entrance ticket booth were donated to the Dormont historical society. I was given the task to refurbish and reconstruct the ticket booth. I am happy to say I completed that task on March 15, 2012. The ticket booth will be displayed in the Dormont municipal center (the old Hiilsdale school). I spent many of my teenage years trying to sneak in around that booth. I hope a lot of old friends stop by to visit it.

toddatelm on August 9, 2010 at 1:20 am

Do I know you, norelco?
The Cinema 4 was my first theater after I got my union card.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 31, 2010 at 3:42 pm

great stories sad ending.

carolgrau on June 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Moviebuff,,, I waas the one who wrote the post about you dad and I am sorry… It was mass confusion that night. I was at the Warner when Marty our business agent called and he was'nt sure where or when it happened, but he knew it happened.. I ended up going there the next day to work all day.. I was really sad your dad was a good friend and a fellow projectionist…He liked me from day one, because I was really into projectors and he could'nt get over how someone as young as me knew so much About them, We spent many hours up in the booth of the SHT, He always sat on a green chair that tilted back in the room next to the booth, I would sit on the other one…We used to all get together after work and meet at a place called Cips, right up the street from the Theatre on the oppositew side of the street…How I miss those days and how we all miss John….

DRIVEIN101 on June 25, 2010 at 6:14 am

You are absolutely right on all counts, norelco. It’s just as painful as seeing a beautiful drive-in theater being demolished for a (yuck!) Wal-Mart.

carolgrau on June 24, 2010 at 8:11 am

Sadly the South Hills Theatre died the day they decided to split it up , and add more screens.. Why would idiots do that to such a wonderfull old Theatre??That is not rain,, That is John crying as he looks down and sees his beloved Theatre being gone, for a stupid drug store…

pyeske on June 24, 2010 at 6:27 am


Please consider sharing your photos (and memories) with the South Hills Theater community at Facebook!


View link

DRIVEIN101 on June 24, 2010 at 4:54 am

I was just driving along West Liberty Ave. yesterday and the sad sight of the demolished South Hills Theater just caught my eye. I stopped and took photos.

R.I.P. South Hills Theater. Thanks for many great memories.

jock411 on June 8, 2010 at 7:32 am

during one of the first runs of “NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD” our resident mouser, Bootsy J. Hill, escaped from his dressing room back stage and calmly walked through the auditorium and jumped onto the back of one of the seats….a women fainted, left via stretcher. good times. i loved that cat. ;–)


CSWalczak on June 7, 2010 at 10:51 pm

The demolition is just about completed; picture here: View link

edblank on May 28, 2010 at 7:03 pm

The razing of the once-revered South Hills Theater (Cinema 4 in its chopped up final days) has begun.

jock411 on January 4, 2010 at 6:49 pm

“cool hand luke”(not a re-run) was playing the first time i showed up for work as an usher. mr. beazek mgr, john sandora was the assistant mgr. we had a resident cat named “bootsy” who stayed, for the most part, in one of the dressing rooms behind the stage while we were open, and had the run of the theater when we closed. i have a lot of fond memories,funny stories, and my feet still hurt.;–)

carolgrau on November 7, 2009 at 10:27 am

Thank you radiojay, i was one of those projectionist, what a beautiful theatre with it’s thick red carpet. Every chance I got I never turned down a job at this beauty

SusanD on July 22, 2009 at 10:07 am

That’s a shame. Just what we all need, another boring chain drug store! I’ve never been the the SHT/C4, but here’s hoping the renovated Denis and Hollywood Theatres can make a go of it.

JRC15213 on May 26, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Even though I lived in Oakland, I often drove out to the South Hills Theater to see movies since it had a large auditorium and the presentation was perfect. Bob Stone and Jim Baker owned the theater as well as Mode Art Films which was also located in the building. Mode Art produced industrial films and documentaries. During the day when the theater was closed, the Mode Art crew would do post-production on their films from positions in the balcony. Hidden in the ceiling above the balcony were film screens and loud speakers which could be lowered during those projects. I applied for a job with Mode Art and spoke to Mr. Stone. There were no positions open at that time, but he gave me a pass to the theater.

The projectionists always gave a good show. I remember on time when the music that was played before the movie began blended in with the opening music of the film. Classy.

In later years, a group of film buffs would gather in the lobby to buy, sell and swap movie memorabilia.

As the movie business changed, as well as people’s viewing habits, large theaters were no longer necessary. DVDs, home theaters and downloaded movies will continue to shape the movie industry. I doubt that it will never return to the way it was. That’s why we have memories.

pyeske on April 29, 2009 at 11:37 am

Yes, thanks Denny- perhaps you can come join our Facebook community?

Those shots are a year or two after my tenure. I remember how big a deal it was when we increased ticket prices from $1.50 to $1.75. Sure, paying customers complained, but the managers hated calculating on the fly multiples of $1.75 most of all! I can still see myself sweeping that front lobby or changing those letters on the marquee…

DRIVEIN101 on April 29, 2009 at 5:35 am

Here it is, the way that it was, the way that it should still be…

View link

And a great night shot…

View link

pyeske on March 26, 2009 at 2:23 pm

We’ve got a facebook page South Hills Theater fans!

View link

Feel free to visit and contribute.

pyeske on March 26, 2009 at 1:55 pm

angel4sam: Thanks for replying! I figured this thread had dwindled to nothing and that my musings were primarily for my own benefit. It’s nice to know at least a few folks are still reading about the SHT. Perhaps there IS a community of SHT-lovers that needs a place to share. Sounds like a facebook page, no? Hmmm…