From February 16 – 28, the theater will rollout a host of Potter-themed events on-site and at various venues throughout Lawrenceville. The schedule includes a family-friendly Wizarding Weekend, where adults and children can take part in hands-on activities such as Herbology Classes at Reed&Co, a free Potions Lab in the Bierport taproom (AKA The Leaky Cauldron), and a specially curated, wizard-themed local vendor fair at Belvedere’s Ultra Dive. Grown-up Potterheads can enjoy such adult-oriented fun as live music from the Pittsburgh wizard rock band Muggle Snuggle and butterbeer tasting. There will also be sorting hat ceremonies, trivia nights, fortune telling, and more.
Of course, the theater will also show all eight of the Harry Potter films, with many screenings featuring extra fun twists such as drag queen storytime, a live owl appearance courtesy of Humane Animal Rescue, and Weasley Sweater Night, where guests who wear an ugly sweater and get $1 off concessions.
In 2012, artist John “Derf” Backderf released My Friend Dahmer, a memoir-style graphic novel about his teenage friendship with serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. The work went on to become a huge success and, not surprisingly, was adapted into a soon-to-be-released feature film. On December 1-2, Southside Works Cinema will welcome Backderf for two screenings of My Friend Dahmer.
Jeffrey Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys in the American Midwest, becoming one of history’s most infamous serial killers. This is the story before that story. Jeff is an awkward teenager struggling to make it through high school with a family life in ruins. His bizarre behavior at school attracts unexpected friends, a group of band-nerds who form The Dahmer Fan Club, headed by Derf Backderf (Alex Wolff). But as they near graduation, Jeff’s depravity continues to take hold, and he spirals further out of control. Written for the screen and directed by Marc Meyers, the film stars Ross Lynch of Disney Channel fame and Alex Wolff.
The special My Friend Dahmer screening events will take place on December 1 at 7:30 p.m. and on December 2 at 2:20 p.m. Q&As with Backderf will follow both shows. Tickets are available online or at the Southside Works Cinema box office.
On July 16, American horror cinema lost one of its greatest voices when George Romero died from lung cancer at the age of 77. With a career spanning over four decades and numerous film and television projects, Romero left an indelible mark on pop culture and inspired generations of filmmakers. He also holds a special place in the hearts of Pittsburgh film fans, as his iconic Living Dead series made Southwestern Pennsylvania the birthplace of the modern zombie. On July 22, Waterworks Cinemas honors his life and work with a special event.
The theater will host a Zombie Party featuring a screening of Night of the Living Dead and undead-themed activities. Those dressed in their best zombie outfits can receive professional makeovers by artists of Tom Savini Special Make-Up Effects Program. Later in the evening, zombified guests can show off their horrific transformations and compete for top prizes during a pageant judged by macabre makeup experts and other horror gurus.
The Waterworks Cinemas Zombie Party begins at 10 p.m. The pageant takes place at 10:30 p.m. The Night of the Living Dead screening takes place at 11:15 p.m. Tickets are limited and available now for purchase in the theater lobby or online. Please note that Waterworks only offers luxury recliner seating.
Film icon Jean Renoir once proclaimed, “If I were an architect and I had to build a monument to the cinema, I would place a statue of [Julien] Duvivier above the entrance.” A prolific filmmaker, Duvivier made 70 films between 1919 and 1967 in his native France and in the United States. Now Row House Cinema will bring a re-release of his 1946 work Panique to Pittsburgh.
Duvivier’s noir adaptation of Georges Simenon‘s Mr. Hire’s Engagement (later adapted by Patrice Leconte as Monsieur Hire) stars Michel Simon as a reviled voyeur framed for a murder by the girl he adores. Now widely considered the finest Simenon adaptation but criticized at the time for its bleakness, the long-unseen Panique has finally been given the vivid restoration it deserves. (Synopsis courtesy of Rialto Pictures)
Panique screens from July 21-27 as part of Row House Cinema’s Film Noir week.
In 2014, Row House Theater opened in Lawrenceville, making it the first movie theater to operate in the neighborhood since 1965. On June 21, Row House and its sister store, Bierport, will celebrate three years of good films and good beer with a special birthday bash at Belvederes Ultra-Dive.
“It’s a chance to celebrate with our patrons, our vendors, and the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our success couldn’t be realized without them,” said Row House owner Brian Mendelssohn in a press release.
A video mashup of Row House movies and favorite staff memories will serve as the backdrop for the evening as DJs Selecta and Nate Da Barber keep people moving on the dance floor. Sample some food truck bites from Blue Sparrow, sweet treats by Yummyholic, and crafts by Songbird Artistry. There will also be drink specials and complimentary Row House popcorn, party hats, and kazoos.
Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $6. Guests with the SRVD app will have access to exclusive drink specials for the evening. As part of the birthday celebration, Row House will also host a week of their favorite films from June 16-22.
In Canada, hundreds of women – a majority of them indigenous – have become victim to a decades-long epidemic of disappearances and murder. On March 16, Chatham University and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh will delve into this atrocity with an International Women’s Day screening of the documentary Finding Dawn.
Finding Dawn puts a human face on a tragedy that has received precious little attention – and one which is surprisingly similar to the situation in Ciudad Juarez, on the other side of the U.S. border. Dawn Crey, Ramona Wilson, and Daleen Kay Bosse are just three of the estimated 500 Aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past 30 years. Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh embarks on an epic journey to shed light on these murders and disappearances that remain unresolved to this day. She begins at Vancouver’s skid row where more than 60 poor women disappeared and travels to the Highway of Tears in northern British Columbia where more than two dozen women (all but one Native) have vanished.
This film illustrates the deep historical, social and economic factors that contribute to the epidemic of violence against Aboriginal women. It highlights the disturbing, worldwide culture of impunity that allows murders of women – especially those who are poor, indigenous, or sex workers – to go unsolved and unpunished.
The Finding Dawn screening event begins at 5 p.m. at Chatham’s Laughlin Hall. Dinner is included. Welsh will give a post-screening interview via Skype with Dr. Prajna Parasher, director of Chatham’s Film and Digital Technology program. There will also a discussion on human trafficking of women and girls led by Dr. Mary Burke, professor of psychology at Carlow University and founder of the Project to End Human Trafficking.
Registration for this event is closed. Those interested in attending can email Nayab Khan at email@example.com to be added to a waiting list.
In 1993, Philadelphia became one of the first mainstream films to depict the struggles of people living with HIV/AIDS. On March 13 and 15, Row House Cinema hosts two fundraiser screenings of the drama for the Pittsburgh-based LGBTQ+ organization Proud Haven.
Hailed as a landmark film, Philadelphia stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington as two competing lawyers who join forces to sue a prestigious law firm for AIDS discrimination. As their unlikely friendship develops, their courage overcomes the prejudice and corruption of their powerful adversaries. Hanks went on to win the Best Actor Academy Award for his performance.
The Philadelphia benefit screenings take place on March 13 at 7 p.m. and March 15 at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $11. $3 of each ticket sold will go towards Proud Haven, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping homeless and unstably housed LGBTQ+ youth in the Pittsburgh region find resources and housing options. The screenings are presented as part of Row House’s Denzel Washingon week.
On March 1, influential filmmaker Julie Dash visits the Waterworks Cinemas for a screening of her groundbreaking 1991 film Daughters of the Dust. Presented by Requiem for Rice, an organization preserving the memory of the millions of enslaved, exploited and brutalized people who worked the rice plantations of Lowcountry South Carolina and Georgia, the event also serves as a tribute to Gullah food and culture.
Set during the dawn of the 20th century, Daughters of the Dust follows a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off of South Carolina – former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions – who struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore while contemplating a migration to the mainland, even further from their roots. The first wide release by a Black female filmmaker, the film has cast a long legacy that still resonates today, most recently as a major in influence on Beyonce’s video album Lemonade.
The event includes a Gullah Geechee food tasting catered by Steeltown Gumbo & Catering, who will offer samples of Nouveau Sweet Tea, shrimp and grits, benne seed wafers with homemade pimento piped rosettes, vegan Hoppin’ John salad and okra stew, Red Requiem Rice, and banana pudding.
The food tasting takes place at 6 p.m. followed by remarks from Dash at 7 p.m. The film shows at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the full event cost $25-30 in advance, $35 at the door. Tickets for the screening only cost $10-12 in advance, $15 at the door.
On February 11, the Big Idea Bookstore and the Pittsburgh chapter of Redneck Revolt, a national network dedicated to anti-capitalist and anti-racist organizing in poor and working-class white communities, will present a screening and discussion of the film Matewan.
The acclaimed 1987 historical drama from director John Sayles depicts the events leading up to the real-life Battle of Matewan. Chris Cooper stars as a union organizer sent in to rally exploited local, immigrant and Black coal miners in 1920 West Virginia. When thugs from a notorious detective agency are sent in to terrorize and evict striking miners, it soon leads to one of the bloodiest clashes in American labor union history.
Matewan screens at 5:30 p.m. Afterwards, Redneck Revolt will lead a discussion about the themes of class, race, labor militancy and working-class rebellion presented in the film. Food will be provided and guests are welcome to bring something to share. A donation of $5 is suggested but not required.
On January 17, Row House Cinema will bring a little known Studio Ghibli gem to Pittsburgh when they present the 4K restoration of Tomomi Mochizuki‘s 1993 anime drama Ocean Waves.
Rarely seen outside of Japan, Ocean Waves is a subtle, poignant story of adolescence and teenage isolation. Taku and his best friend Yutaka are headed back to school for what looks like another uneventful year. But they soon find their friendship tested by the arrival of Rikako, a beautiful new transfer student from Tokyo whose attitude vacillates wildly from flirty and flippant to melancholic. When Taku joins Rikako on a trip to Tokyo, the school erupts with rumors, and the three friends are forced to come to terms with their changing relationships.
The Ocean Waves sneak preview begins at 7:45 p.m. Tickets cost $9 and are available for purchase online at the door.