701 5th Avenue,
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The Chatham Cinema was one of the few new theaters built in downtown Pittsburgh in the 1960’s. It was located in the rear of the Chatham Center complex on 5th Avenue near the Pittsburgh Civic Arena and Duquesne University next to the parking garage in the complex. There were even walkways which led from the parking garage right into the lobby of the theater. After buying your ticket you walked down a ramp to get to the concession stand and the doors to the auditorium.
The Chatham Cinema opened on October 26, 1966 with Michael Caine in “Alfie”. It lasted until the mid-1980’s when like most of the other downtown Pittsburgh movie houses it closed due to first-run product being featured at suburb multiplexes and the city amusement tax. But in its heyday of the late-1960’s and 1970’s many of the big first-run releases played at this theater and some had lengthy runs.
For a while after closing the lobby was used for storage and the glass doors that had opened onto the street were papered over. The marquee was finally removed and the entrance bricked up. Today there is no sign that a movie theater ever occupied the site.
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