Dark Waterworks Cinemas to reopen next week

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The Waterworks Cinemas, shuttered abruptly last month, will reopen next week under new managers who plan to offer first-run movies as well as independent and foreign films.

The 10-screen theater located on Freeport Road behind the Waterworks Mall in Pittsburgh has been leased by members of the Harper and Moses families, who operate Westgate Cinemas in New Castle and Shenango Valley Cinemas in Hermitage.

One of the partners, John Harper, was a partner in Waterworks Cinemas when it opened in 1990. He was involved in the property until 2001 and was an original partner in the Galleria Cinemas in Mt. Lebanon and Maxi-Saver in West Mifflin. The new managers will lease the theater from J.J. Gumberg Co., which owns the property and adjacent retail center.

Future plans for the Waterworks, which is scheduled to begin showing movies Oct. 26, include installing new seats and digital equipment, Mr. Harper said.

The new managers are currently cleaning the screens and painting the property "so it feels fresh again," said Katie Gancy, who handles promotions and operations for the new management team.

Admission prices will remain about the same as before, or about $8 for adults, with discounts for seniors and matinees.

The theater will continue to show first-run releases and hopes to add some independent and foreign films. "We would like at least one screen to have an art type of product," Mr. Harper said.

Ms. Gancy also hopes to add more promotions for families such as a mom-and-baby special.

Mr. Harper expects to hire about 50 full- and part-time workers to staff the theater, including some employees who lost their jobs when it closed on Sept. 11.

Joyce Gannon can be reached at jgannon@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1580.

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