Kings Court Theater
3807 Forbes Avenue,
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In 1965 George and Ernest Stern of Associated Theatres converted an old city police station in Pittsburgh’s Oakland section into a first-run motion picture theater that was adjacent to the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Because the outside of the police station had a sort of English castle motif, it was called the Kings Court Theater. Its location next to Pitt’s campus made it a popular theater for a number of decades, premiering many of the hot "youth-oriented" pictures of the late-1960’s and 1970’s and for years running midnight movies, especially “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” wherein patrons would dress like the characters in the film and act it out along with the screening.
I worked at the theater in 1980 and 1981 as a cleaner after showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. What a mess it was—rice everywhere, along with toilet paper, playing cards, toast, and other things, all watered down from being soaked with water from spray bottles. Then there were the bathrooms, where patrons frequently had consumed too much alcohol before attending the showing and didn’t make it. I worked with another woman and we usually filled 18-20 large garbage bags with trash. But it was a lot of fun to work there!
The theater was later sold and leased by a coffeehouse chain and was turned into a combination coffeehouse/movie/concert theater called the Beehive Oakland, which also was very popular. But after a number of years, the building’s owners and/or realty management company refused to renew the lease. The building currently is empty.
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