As digital filmmaking ushers in a new cinematic order, some pieces of
the old movie garde are too important to leave behind. When the
Hollywood Theater, located at 1499 Potomac Avenue in Dormont, closed its
doors last May, a determined group of volunteers called
Friends of the Hollywood Theater
(FOHT) vowed to keep alive this single-screen gem that dates back to
1933. The hard work of this 11 member board, and 25 member advisory
board, has paid off. The Hollywood Theater will reopen on May 4.
"We've been working with 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania
they're a non-profit, and they're going to show The New Metropolis at
the theater on May 4. It's a PBS documentary about the inner suburbs and
the challenges they face in the 21st century," says John Maggio, board
member of the non-profit FOHT.
After The New
Metropolis screens, there will be a Hollywood Theater open house with
free film showings on May 14-15. Part-time showings of paid-admission
films will be shown the following week, and the theater will open
full-time beginning in June. FOHT plans to hire a permanent manager and
two paid employees. The 48 Hour Film Festival
already signed on to use the venue, and FOHT intends to start showing
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, as well as other classic and rare 35mm
works. They will also use the theater as a community space for a wide
variety of on and off screen events.
a year, the diverse volunteer FOHT board has been busy fundraising,
working with Duquense law students to achieve 501c3 status, and
collaborating with CMU students to develop a business plan. FOHT
currently needs less than $10,000 to open the theater's doors, which
they're confident will happen. While they will rent the building for
now, Maggio believes they will be able to buy it in the near future.
Tax-deductible donations can be made to Friends of The Hollywood Theater at P.O. Box 7902 Pittsburgh, PA 15216.Sign up
to receive Pop City each week.
Writer: John Farley
Source: John Maggio, Friends of the Hollywood TheaterPhotograph copyright John Farley