Star City Cinema reopening as bargain house

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The former Star City Cinema is reopening today as a Screenworks theater, a bargain house with new owners and reduced ticket prices. Admission will be $1 weekdays before 6 p.m., and $1.50 weekday evenings and any time Saturday and Sunday.

As a bargain house, the South Fayette theater will show movies weeks after they open elsewhere. The initial selection, for instance, includes "All the King's Men" and "The Gridiron Gang," along with "World Trade Center," "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."

Doors will open at 12:30 p.m., and the movie start times today are staggered from 1 to 2 p.m.

New owners are Syed Raza, who is based in Atlanta but is in Pittsburgh overseeing the opening, and Mark Siegel of Cincinnati. Screenworks is located in Atlanta and also operates a theater in Mississippi.

The 14-screen theater opened in May 2000 and closed its doors in February 2005 because it was no longer profitable.

Although it was considered one of the nicest places in Pittsburgh to see a movie, with mammoth screens and high-back rocker chairs with cup holders and retractable armrests, it struggled to compete against the Destinta theater a couple of miles away. At that time, both were showing first-run films.

"For the most part, the equipment was already in place, which made it a very attractive deal," Raza said, especially given the caliber of the screens, projection and sound equipment. "There wasn't any remodeling required, everything still looks the same. The only thing changing is from a first-run to a discount house."

The theater may host a grand opening later. "We want to be sure everything goes smoothly," Raza said earlier this week.

The distinctive stars atop the theater near the intersection of I-79 and Route 50 will stay for now. As it did under the Star City banner, the theater will host birthday parties and it will sell the usual concession assortment of popcorn, soda, candy and nachos, plus pizza.

For movie times, patrons can call the recorded line, 412-257-1650.


Post-Gazette movie editor Barbara Vancheri can be reached at bvancheri@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1632.


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