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.
Muggles and wizards alike will have loads of fun when Row House Cinema and its sister store, Bierport, host the Harry Potter Film And Cultural Festival. The event will feature two weeks of live music, themed food and drinks, and, of course, film screenings dedicated to one of the most successful and widely beloved YA series in history.
The itinerary includes regular showings of the Harry Potter screen adaptations. Starting in 2001 with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and ending with the two-part finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the expansive franchise follows the adventures of the young wizard Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his best friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) as they hone their magic skills at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Along the way, they face increasing peril as they unravel the mysterious connection between Harry and the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), whose band of rogue wizards are intent on destroying Harry along with anyone who stands in their way.
During the festival, fans young and old can enjoy a number of other activities, including a performance by the Harry Potter tribute band Muggle Snuggle, storytime with the Carnegie Library, and a house sorting night where people can discover if they belong to Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. There will also be crafts, trivia, costume contests, and treats of both the alcoholic and kid-safe variety.
The Harry Potter Film And Cultural Festival runs from February 17–March 2. Tickets and additional information about the event are available at the Row House website.
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.
For decades, the Italian American Program at the Heinz History Center has worked to preserve and interpret the history and culture of Italian Americans in Western Pennsylvania. On January 10, the program will continue its mission with a special movie event.
The Heinz History Center will present a screening of the 2000 Italian romantic comedy Bread and Tulips at Row House Cinema. After being left behind during a family vacation, Rosalba (Licia Maglietta), an unhappy housewife, decides to start a new life in Venice. She finds room and board with Fernando (Bruno Ganz), a charming maître d’, and they soon fall in love. Meanwhile, Rosalba’s husband hires a private detective to look for her. Although the relationship between Fernando and Rosalba grows stronger, she is forced to return home. But will Fernando rescue her?
Bread and Tulips begins at 7:30 p.m. Guests can also hear about the Italian American Program and take part in a pasta guessing game for a chance to win four Heinz History Center passes. Tickets cost $9. The screening is presented as part of Row House’s Italian Cinema week.
Local artist Matthew Buchholz is best known for his movie-inspired pop art business Alternate Histories. While his work displays a fascination with Godzilla, King Kong, and 1950s space invaders, he decided to return to his more high-brow film roots with Hitchcock 52, a year-long project dedicated to Alfred Hitchcock.
“My background is in film production and criticism and I’d been feeling that I was getting away from my love of movies,” says Buchholz, an NYU film school grad who managed the BAMcinématek program for almost seven years before moving to Pittsburgh. “I wanted to do something that got me thinking and writing critically, and Alfred Hitchcock was my first real film obsession.”
When Buchholz realized Hitchcock made 52 feature films – excluding the auteur’s lost 1927 work The Mountain Eagle – the synergy “was too good to ignore.” Starting last January, he set about watching one film per week and writing about it. He completes his monumental task on December 30 at Row House Cinema, where he will present a screening of North by Northwest.
The 1959 thriller stars Cary Grant as a New York ad exec forced to go on the run after a case of mistaken identity makes him the target of a mysterious organization. Regarded by scholars and critics as one of the greatest American films of all time, it became notable for its ambitious use of setting – including the famed crop duster scene and the iconic Mount Rushmore finale – and laying the groundwork for modern action thrillers.
“It’s my favorite Hitchcock movie and probably my favorite film of all time, so I’m always looking for a reason to watch it on the big screen,” says Buchholz.
Though North by Northwest is the last Hitchcock 52 selection, it’s not the director’s final film (that title goes to the 1976 dark comedy Family Plot). Buchholz explains that he chose to watch Hitchcock’s films out of chronological order to keep the experience more interesting for himself and for the reader.
“I felt it would be better to jump around and when possible and compare and contrast movies like the 1934 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much and the 1956 remake,” says Buchholz. “Beyond that, it was often based on my whim and what I felt like watching that week.”
Hitchcock 52 allowed him to take a more balanced approach to analyzing the work of a director often regarded with blind reverence. Even as he praises Hitchcock’s enduring brilliance, he also takes a step back to point out flaws or moments that fail to stand the test of time.
He also deals with the uncomfortable aspects of Hitchcock, who has frequently garnered criticism for his depictions of women, people of color, and characters coded as gay or transgender. In one Hitchcock 52 post, Buccholz touches on the glaring homophobia displayed in the 1929 film Murder! and relates it to the director’s frequent attempts at exploring sexuality “in a shocking and provocative manner.”
“You can argue that Hitchcock provided some of the most sympathetic portraits of coded gay characters to be seen before 1960,” he writes. “But virtually all of his ‘gay’ characters (Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca, the Leopold & Loeb-like duo of Rope, Bruno Anthony in Strangers on a Train, and Leonard in North by Northwest) fall into the ‘deviant sexuality’ camp; they’re villains who commit or attempt murder and are caught and punished.”
In his most recent post on The Birds, Buchholz even confronts his own hypocrisy when it comes to actress Tippi Hedren, whose long-held claims that Hitchcock sexually assaulted her during production on Marnie resurfaced in her recently released memoir.
“I admit that, because of my idolization of Hitchcock, I overlooked Hedren’s accusations in the past, in part because Hedren is the only actress to ever make these claims,” says Buchholz. “But reading her book, and seeing how respectful she still is to him, it makes me think that something must have happened. Because why would I believe the women who say these things about Woody Allen and Bill Cosby but not Hitchcock? It’s disappointing, obviously, and I’m wrestling with my feelings in [The Birds] essay.”
While Buchholz says he enjoyed doing the project, he doubts he will pursue another one like it.
“Surprisingly, while I thought it would reignite my critical passion, it’s actually driven me back to thinking more creatively, and trying to find a way to write or make movies,” says Buchholz. “It’s impossible to spend so long with someone so talented and not be inspired.”
The Hitchcock 52 screening of North by Northwest begins at 7:35 p.m. with an introduction by Buchholz. He will briefly discuss the Hitchcock 52 project, what he has learned, and why North by Northwest is his favorite Hitchcock film. Tickets cost $9 and are available for purchase at the Row House website or at the door.
Since it opened in 2014, Row House Cinema has entertained audiences with an eclectic selection of beloved classics, acclaimed new releases, and offbeat cult films. Now moviegoers can support the local single-screen theater and receive special perks with the Row House Film Club.
The program offers identical benefits with two payment options: the $10-a-month Sustaining Membership and the $100-a-year Annual Membership.
“The Film Club gives members a personalized experience every time they walk through our doors,” says Row House owner Brian Mendelssohn in an official statement.
Each member receives the following benefits:
- One free movie ticket as a thank you for joining
- One free birthday movie in the month of your birthday
- One free movie entry each month with complimentary small popcorn
- Access to advance and discount tickets for special events and screenings
- On-screen recognition at each movie screening
- Invitation to an Annual Member Appreciation Day
Those interested can sign up for Row House Film Club online.
From September 6th though September 11th, the city will have a jolly good time with Britsburgh, an event promoting United Kingdom connections in the Pittsburgh area. Along with UK cuisine, tea times and other Anglo traditions, the festival will also feature movie screenings at Row House Cinema, Duquesne University, Sewickley Public Library and the Hartwood Mansion. See film schedule and details below:
Mansfield Park – Duquesne University
Duquesne University will include a screening of the film Mansfield Park as part of their Jane Austen and the Theater event. Based on Austen’s eponymous novel, the 1999 British romantic comedy follows Fanny Price, a penniless young woman whose wit and moral fortitude guide her through the trials of high society at her wealthy relatives’ estate. The event begins at 6 p.m. in the Bayer Learning Center of the Bayer Pappert Lecture Hall.
Friday Afternoon Movies and Cinema Circle Foreign Film Club – Sewickley Public Library
The Sewickley Public Library will present various British film during two series, Friday Afternoon Movies and Cinema Circle Foreign Film Club. The Friday Afternoon selections include the 2006 award-winning drama The Queen, the 1951 heist film The Lavender Hill Mob and the 1993 C.S. Lewis biopic Shawdowlands. Cinema Circle Foreign Film Club will focus on the 1993 Irish comedy The Snapper, which follows a family trying to deal with one daughter’s scandalous pregnancy to a man she refuses to name.
All Friday Afternoon screenings will take place at 3 p.m. The Circle Foreign Film Club screening will take on September 7th at 6 p.m. with a film discussion to follow at the same time on September 21st.
British Film Festival – Row House Cinema
Row House Cinema and Bierport Tap Room will kick off a week of British and UK cinema with a shepherd’s pie tasting and happy hour on September 9th. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12 and are available for purchase at the Row House website. Includes pie portion and one complimentary beer.
The week’s films include the 1949 thriller The Third Man, the 1979 Monty Python feature Life Of Brian, the 1996 Scottish drug trip Trainspotting and the 2005 indie musical comedy Kinky Boots. Showtimes will continue through September 15th.
Mary Poppins in the Park – Hartwood Mansion
Hartwood Acres Park will present an outdoor screening of Mary Poppins on the Hartwood Mansion lawn. The 1964 Disney movie musical stars Julie Andrews as a magical nanny who takes two upper-class children on a series of adventures through Edwardian London. The film begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
When NBC debuted Star Trek in 1966, the short-run series captured the imagination of sci-fi fans everywhere and went on to spawn multiple TV reboots, movies and a devoted sub-culture. Beginning on September 2nd, Pittsburgh Trekkies will celebrate 50 years of Star Trek with screenings at Row House Cinema and the Hollywood Theater.
From September 2nd through September 8th, Row House Cinema will present a week-long schedule of Star Trek films. The selections include Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) and Star Trek VIII: First Contact (1996). The theater will also screen a special RiffTrax edition of The Wrath of Khan, as well as a Dr. Sketchy’s Drink and Draw screening of The Voyage Home and a visit from Animal Friends for TrekKitties. Visit the Row House website for showtimes and ticket prices. Guests can also purchase a four-movie pass for $21.
On September 9th, the Hollywood Theater will present a Wrath of Khan screening event sponsored by Geek Pittsburgh. The evening will include members of local fangroups the USS Inferno and Klingon Assault Group, music from DJ Zombo and a costume contest. Attendees will also receive an exclusive sneak-peak of the upcoming ToonSeum exhibit To Boldly Go: The Graphic Art of Star Trek , which showcases original artwork by some of Pittsburgh’s best graphic illustrators (the exhibit will officially open at the Toonseum on October 28th).
The event will also feature the premiere of For the Love of Spock, Adam Nimoy’s documentary about his famous father, the late Leonard Nimoy, who for decades portrayed Star Trek‘s beloved alien-human character Spock. Wrath of Khan guests will receive $2 off the ticket price for the 10 p.m. screening. Additional screenings of For the Love of Spock with continue throughout the weekend.
Tickets for the Hollywood Theater event cost $10 and are available for purchase at Eventbrite. All proceeds benefit the Hollywood Theater and the ToonSeum.
From September 2nd trough September 7th, the Hollywood Theater will also show the new film Star Trek Beyond. Directed by Justin Lin (The Fast and the Furious franchise), the latest voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise takes her intrepid crew to the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy (played by Idris Elba) who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test. Stars Chris Pine, Pittsburgh’s own Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho and the late Anton Yelchin. Tickets are available for purchase at Showclix or at the door.
Maverick – AMC Loews Waterfront
AMC Loews Waterfront will screen the 1994 comedy western Maverick as part of their Classic Movie Nights series. Based on the popular TV series, the film stars Mel Gibson as a charismatic gambler who cons his way into a high stakes poker tournament. Also stars Jodie Foster, Alfred Molina and James Garner. The film will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5, $10.50 for VIP Seating.
Essential American Cinema: The 1970’s – Row House Cinema
Row House Cinema will devote a week to showcasing definitive disco era films. Selections include director Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 mafia classic The Godfather, the 1973 Depression era crime comedy The Sting and the 1975 cult documentary Grey Gardens. Showtimes continue through August 25th.
Lights Out – Hollywood Theater
Hollywood Theater will screen the new horror film Lights Out. The chilling tale stars Teresa Palmer as a woman haunted by a creature that only appears when the lights go out. Showtimes continue through August 25th.
Our Little Sister – Harris Theater
Director Hirozaku Kore-eda,’s screen adaption of Yoshida Akimi’s best-selling graphic novel follows three 20-something sisters – Sachi, Yoshino and Chika – who live together in a large old house in the seaside town of Kamakura. When they learn of their estranged father’s death, they decide to travel to the countryside for his funeral. There they meet their shy teenage half-sister Suzu for the first time and, bonding quickly, invite her to live with them. Amidst the many and varied colors of Kamakura’s four seasons, the four sisters cause each other emotional anguish, and support each other through life’s trials, developing a very special bond in the process. Showtimes continue at the Harris Theater through August 25th.
The Secret Life of Pets – Hollywood Theater
Hollywood Theater will screen the new hit animated feature The Secret Life of Pets. The comedy from director Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2) about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day features voicework by Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart and many others. Showtimes continue through August 25th.
An American in Paris – Kelly Strayhorn Theater
Kelly Strayhorn Theater will celebrate the birthday of one of its namesakes, Gene Kelly, with a screening of his 1951 film An American in Paris. The movie musical stars Kelly as an American World War II vet who becomes a painter in Paris, where he falls in love with a beautiful French woman (Leslie Caron). The screening begins at 2 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m. Tickets are available at the Kelly Strayhorn website or at the door.
Breakfast and a Movie: Roman Holiday – Hollywood Theater
Hollywood Theater will present a special brunch screening of the 1953 romance Roman Holiday. Brunch tickets must be ordered by 11 p.m. on August 18th, online at Showclix or at theater. Doors open for the brunch at 10:15 a.m. followed by the film at 11 a.m. Film only tickets cost $8 can be purchased at the door after 10:40 a.m.
North By Northwest – Regent Square Theater
Regent Square Theater will screen North By Northwest as part of their August series Reds: When Russians Were Scary. Starring Cary Grant, James Mason, Martin Landau and Eva Marie Saint, Alfred Hitchcock‘s suspense thriller follows a hapless New York advertising executive who’s mistaken for a government agent and relentlessly pursued across the country by foreign spies. The screening begins at 8 p.m.
Fight Club – AMC Loews Waterfront
AMC Loews Waterfront will screen director David Fincher‘s 1999 dark comedy Fight Club as part of their Classic Movie Nights series. The big screen adaptation of author Chuck Palahniuk‘s hit novel depicts an office drone (Edward Norton) lured into a secret world of underground fighting by a charismatic stranger (Brad Pitt). The film will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5, $10.50 for VIP Seating.
Ghostbusters – Hollywood Theater
Hollywood Theater will screen the highly anticipated reboot from writer/director Paul Feig and co-writer Katie Dippold. When New York City comes under a supernatural threat, it’s up to two physicists (Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig), a kooky scientist (Kate McKinnon) and a savvy transit worker (Leslie Jones) to save it. Tickets are available for purchase at Showclix. Showtimes continue through August 18th.
Kid’s Fest – Row House Cinema
Row House Cinema will present a week of animated films for Kid’s Fest. Selections include the 1982 fantasy The Last Unicorn, the 2015 stop-motion work Shaun the Sheep, the premiere of GKIDS’ Phantom Boy and a national touring program from the New York International Children’s Film Festival. Showtimes continue through August 18th.
The Land – Harris Theater
Harris Theater will screen the new film The Land. The debut from director Steven Caple Jr. presents a coming-of-age film set on the streets of Cleveland. Teenage buddies Cisco, Boobie, Junior and Patty Cake skateboard the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, dreaming of getting discovered by a sponsor and skating their way out of poverty. That is until the boys discover a bag full of pills in the back of a stolen car. Cisco’s entrepreneurial instincts take over, and in a flash their lives get better. But no one counted on having to come face to face with the cold, calculating, and notorious drug queenpin Momma (Linda Emond) who runs the toughest gang in town. The film stars newcomer Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Erykah Badu, Machine Gun Kelly and Michael K. Williams.Showtimes continue through August 17th.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers – Regent Square Theater
Regent Square Theater will screen Invasion of the Body Snatchers as part of their August series Reds: When Russians Were Scary. The 1956 sci-fi horror film – which has been interpreted as a reaction to the Red scare and McCarthy Era mass hysteria – stars Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter as a young couple who discover the inhabitants of their small town have been replaced by alien duplicates. The screening begins at 8 p.m.