Hollywood Theater To Launch Guest Programmer Series

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This May, Hollywood Theater will launch a new series featuring three guest programmers. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, actress Gillian Jacobs, and noted Pittsburgh chef Kevin Sousa will present their favorite films for the special event.

Mayor Peduto will launch the Guest Programmer Series on May 3rd with Undaunted: The Forgotten Giants of the Allegheny Observatory, a 2012 documentary on the Allegheny Observatory, and The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh, a 1979 sports comedy about a professional basketball team brought together by astrology. Undaunted will screen at 8:15 p.m., followed by The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh at 10 p.m. The launch coincides with the Hollywood Theater’s third birthday celebration, which includes live music from Midnite Horns jazz band, tarot card readings, caricatures, raffles, food and drink, and more. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for Hollywood Theater members, and $30 at the door.

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On May 16th, the theater will present two selections from actress Gillian Jacobs, a Mt. Lebanon native who stars on the NBC hit sitcom Community and has appeared in films such as Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Bad Milo! and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Jacobs chose one of her past projects, the 2008 drama Gardens of the Night. The film follows Leslie, who, at eight years old, was abducted by an older man named Alex (Tom Arnold) and his young accomplice Frank (Kevin Zegers). Leslie was held captive in their house along with an eight-year-old boy named Donnie, who believed his mentally unstable mother sold him to Alex. The children create a bond with each other by escaping into a fantasy world they create in their bedroom. Years later, Leslie (Jacobs) and Donnie (Evan Ross) are living on the streets of San Diego and struggling to cope with the abuse they suffered. Donnie’s feelings for Leslie are those of any teenager in love, however Leslie’s perception of love has been severely mutated through her relationship with Alex and her instinct is to run from Donnie. Can she not only survive this horrific experience, but be set free from it’s terrible shackles?

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Jacobs also picked Vagabond (Sans toit ni loi), a 1985 French drama about a young woman named Mona (played by award-winning actress Sandrine Bonnaire) whose final weeks of life are traced after she’s found frozen in a ditch. Director Agnès Varda pieces together the story of the defiant young drifter through flashbacks told by those who encountered her (played by a largely nonprofessional cast), producing a splintered portrait of an enigmatic individual. Gardens of the Night will screen at 7:30 p.m., followed by Vagabond at 10 p.m. Tickets are $8, $6 for seniors or students.

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Finally, on June 8th, chef Kevin Sousa, a McKees Rocks native and owner of such renowned eateries as Salt of the Earth, Union Pig and Chicken and Station Street Hot Dogs, offers up his contribution to the Guest Programmer Series. Sousa has gone with The Big Lebowski, the 1998 Coen brothers cult classic about a bowling slacker known as The Dude. White Russians will be served. Screening begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8, $6 for seniors or students.

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Schedules are subject to change. Please visit the Hollywood Theater website for updates.

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