Theatres of Downtown: A 100-Year Story

Theatres of Downtown:  A 100-Year Story

Did you know that Pittsburgh represents the birth of the “movie theatre?” 

This story begins in 1896, on the day that an image first flickered on a screen in Downtown Pittsburgh and visits every Downtown theatre that ever played a movie. Learn about the theatres that once dominated the entertainment scene in the Golden Triangle. Hear fun history, trivia, and stories as we usher you through an era that is long-gone and stir up some fond memories. So, reserve your seat and don’t forget the buttered popcorn!

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This story was recorded on March 8, 2021.

Your Storyteller

Jim Kastner was a 70-year resident of Pittsburgh. Born and raised on Spring Hill and schooled on Troy Hill, he spent most of his free time as a kid in the Northside’s old East Street neighborhood, known today as the Parkway North. He saw his first movie at the Garden Theatre in 1955.

It was his fondness for theatres and movies that led to his publishing Where the Movies Played in Downtown Pittsburg(h), which begins with a tribute to his Northside roots when he and all the neighborhood kids walked to the movies. Jim is now retired and living in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is honored to share this journey with DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh ticketholders and patrons.


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