Movie maker: It’s time for a mainstream cinema Downtown

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City dweller or suburbanite, who doesn’t like a night at the movies? But for those who live in Downtown Pittsburgh, a place that is rapidly growing with residents and after-work vitality, it’s been 27 years since the neighborhood had a general-interest movie theater.

Downtown still has the Harris Theater, operated by the Pittsburgh Filmmakers, But it’s an arthouse cinema that shies away from popular commercial fare.

Enter Rick Stern, owner of the Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill, and member of the family that once owned seven movie theaters Downtown. He thinks it may be time to relaunch the mainstream movie business in the Golden Triangle, and we would bet that a cast of thousands agree.

Although his idea is in the “very preliminary stages,” he thinks the former Bally Total Fitness Club on Sixth Street would be a good spot for a multiscreen theater. That’s a prime location in the Cultural District near restaurants, parking and transit.

The cinema would be a draw not only for the neighbors but also for countless visitors who routinely come Downtown for other entertainment fare. Mr. Stern is on to a good idea.

This is one screen test that could make him a star.

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