Film Notes: Cinemark to open 12-screen theater at Monroeville Mall Nov. 7

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The movies will be back in Monroeville next month.

Cinemark, which has made deep and successful inroads into the Pittsburgh market, will open its newest location at Monroeville Mall Nov. 7 with "Thor: The Dark World" starring Chris Hemsworth.

The 12-screen theater is on the upper level in space formerly occupied by J.C. Penney, which moved to the old Boscov's space. That shift also allowed for H&M to open on the lower level of the onetime Penney store.

Monroeville or nearby Wilkins once was home to a four-theater complex on the edge of the mall parking lot, which went dark in 1998, and Showcase Cinemas East, which closed in 2004.

Cinemark operates theaters in Robinson, Frazer near Tarentum and Center, Beaver County, and runs the former Rave in McCandless. A new Cinemark theater is scheduled to open in the spring at McCandless Crossing along McKnight Road near La Roche College.

As of late June, Cinemark Holdings Inc. operated 504 theaters and 5,794 screens in the United States and Latin America. It is headquartered in Plano, Texas.

We're No. 5! We're No. 5!

When you think about it, that's an excellent slot. That's where Movoto Real Estate ranked Pittsburgh on its best U.S. cities for movie lovers list.

Portland, Ore., topped the roster, followed by San Francisco, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Rochester, Orlando, Seattle and Cincinnati.

Rankings were based on number of movie theaters, rental stores, indie theaters, film festivals (we certainly seem to have more than our share) and drive-in theaters.

Downtown film night

An open-air screening of work by emerging filmmakers will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at 917 Liberty Ave., Downtown. A donation of $5 is suggested.

Future Tenant is teaming up with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership on the event showcasing the work of Alex Goldblum, jtc45/D.S. Kinsel, David Safin, Mike Smith and Jeremy Waltman. Some themes are unsettling and organizers suggest viewer discretion.

Food trucks will be stationed nearby from 5 to 7 p.m. for anyone wanting dinner beforehand.

Anthology premiere Monday

Penn-Trafford filmmaker and writer Nick LaMantia will premiere his short film anthology at a Monday event at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont.

Doors open at 6, shorts by Brandon Keenan, Nathan Hollabaugh and Nate Mirizio will screen at 7 p.m. and Mr. LaMantia's anthology will follow. Admission is free.

The event will feature the premiere of "Self Obscurities," a three-chapter anthology about tragic decision-making from Nickel 17 Productions.

"Chapter One: Assertions" stars Buck Smodic as a man fed up with his mundane business lifestyle and who questions his id, ego and superego. Also featuring Mr. Hollabaugh.

"Chapter Two: Soliloquy" pits an ailing girl (Jennie Bushnell) against society as she shuns her only blood relative -- her father (David Petti).

Mike Reeping and Rick Montgomery Jr. appear in "Chapter Three: Confessional," about a former U.S. senator who attempts to repent for his shameful actions during the Red Scare.

The anthology was shot with an all Pittsburgh-area cast and crew. See for more information.

'TFIOS' opening in June

It appears that "The Fault in Our Stars" is now scheduled to arrive in theaters June 6, 2014. After finishing shooting in Pittsburgh this week, it moves to Amsterdam for a few days.

It seemed that the movie, based on John Green's novel and starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as teens who meet at a support group for young people with cancer, would be a perfect late spring or early fall movie, much as "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" was.

But the leads will appear, as siblings, in "Divergent" March 21, and "The Maze Runner" (based on the James Dashner novel) has been shifted from Feb. 14, to Sept. 19, perhaps ruling out "TFIOS" for that month, too.

As anyone anticipating the year-end release of "Foxcatcher" or "Grace of Monaco" -- both bumped into 2014 -- knows, dates are subject to change.

'12 Years' due Nov. 1

The publicity juggernaut for "12 Years a Slave" is kicking into high gear with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender making TV appearances this week. That begs the question: When will "12 Years a Slave" open in Pittsburgh? Nov. 1, with theaters still to be identified.

It was the most intense movie I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is saying something, given a lineup that also included "Gravity," "August: Osage County," "Prisoners" and "Dallas Buyers Club."

Mr. Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup, a free man, husband, father and musician living in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 1841 when he is duped, drugged, transported to the South and sold into slavery.

The movie is based on a true story and it has harrowing scenes of a woman being raped and whipped, of slaves treated like goods to be bought and sold, and of families torn apart for years or forever.

In addition to the male leads, its cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, breakout actress Lupita Nyong'o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Kenneth Williams and Alfre Woodard.

Steve McQueen, who also directed Mr. Fassbender in "Shame" and "Hunger," directed "12 Years a Slave." Expect it to be a force to be reckoned with come Oscar season.

George Bailey Awards

Rich Little and Judy Stewart, one of the daughters of the late Jimmy Stewart, will present the 2013 George Bailey Awards at a Nov. 23 dinner at the Rustic Lodge in Indiana, Pa.

They also will be part of Light-Up Night festivities in downtown Indiana the evening before. The impressionist and Ms. Stewart, one of the late actor's twin daughters, will serve as grand marshals of the Light-Up Night Parade and officially light the Christmas tree at Indiana County Courthouse.

Stewart, of course, starred in the holiday classic, "It's a Wonderful Life," and Indiana is known as the Christmas tree capital of the world and home to the Jimmy Stewart Museum (

Recipients of the Bailey Awards this year: The Indiana County Tourist Bureau; Carson Green Jr., a founding board member of the James M. Stewart Museum Foundation; and Indiana Gazette columnist and former editor in chief Carl Kologie.

The award is a beautiful bronze bell (a tribute to the line of dialogue, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings") and the handle is Stewart as George Bailey, as designed by Indiana County sculptor John McCombie.

The honors will be presented at the Rustic Lodge in Indiana at an event starting at 6 p.m. Ticket, $45, includes hors d'oeuvres (cash bar), dinner and ceremony.

For reservations, 724-349-6112.


Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: First Published October 10, 2013 8:00 PM


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