South Pike Cinemas showers moviegoers with celluloid visions of first-run films and sweet and salty snacks. Treats such as slushies, Starbucks Frappuccinos, and cheesy nachos join classic popcorn, candy, and sodas at the festive concession stand. At birthday parties, youngsters take a behind-the-scenes journey into the world of cinema as they’re offered a tour of the projection booth, a souvenir strip of film, and the opportunity to try out every seat in the theater to see which is the bounciest.
Showing a blend of current and classic cinematic entertainment, The Oaks Theater has remained Oakmont's only for-profit single-screen movie theater since its opening night in November 1938. The Junior Chamber of Commerce Players accompany a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, dancing, singing, and assembling popcorn monuments to the unfolding onscreen action. Seven feature-length films entice adrenal glands, letting viewers pick their poison from films such as Jonathan Demme's Academy Award–winning The Silence of the Lambs, the fang-centric Let the Right One In, or Halloween 4 featuring lovable loser Michael Myers. After sinking into one of The Oaks Theater's 430 seats, petrified patrons can cower behind a large soda or superstitiously squeeze the earlobe of their moviegoer companion.
It was June 1, 1950 when the screens first lit up at Dependable Drive-In. And although film stars have changed over the years, the spirit of the movies has stayed as strong as it was on that long-ago summer day. Families and friends still pull into drive-in and select one of the first-run features showing on its four screens. As the action unfolds, Dolby Sound comes pulsing through the car, truck, or pumpkin carriage's own stereo system.
At the snack bar, friendly staffers serve up a menu as timeless as the drive-in's old-fashioned speakers (which have been made into nostalgic clocks available for customer purchase). Hot dogs, nachos, root beer floats, and other favorites all pair perfectly with movies about alien invasions or just one 90-minute shot of Keanu Reeve looking really intense.
The cloak of sparkling newness belies Benedum Center’s deep history in the theatrical world. Opened to regal fanfare and a holographic performance by Tupac in 1928, the theater then waded through the downs and ups of history until a $43 million restoration buffed its surfaces back to their former glory in 1984. Today, the 90 chandeliers dangling from the ceiling, the Grand Lobby’s mirrors and marble, and most of the 1,500 feet of brass rail throughout are all original. The centerpiece is the main chandelier, a 4,700-pound, 20-foot-high, 12-foot-wide behemoth that sparkles to remind visitors of the theater’s glory days.
Legendary entertainers Kenan and Kel made theatrical history when they broke down the fourth wall, and then, to the consternation of the set designer, broke down the second and third walls as well. Experience the magic of the stage with The 39 Steps at City Theatre. The Broadway production of the smash comedy-thriller has won two Tony Awards, the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Event, and the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.
Since 1966, the silver screens of the independently owned and operated Penn Hills Cinemas have held the images of first-run films. Four theaters cushion moviegoers with recently-revamped seating as they watch the latest Hollywood releases flanked by cup-holders. In those cup-holders sit ample sodas obtained from a concession-stand surrounded by glowing neon, where customers can also purchase snacks such as popcorn, churros, hot dogs, and candies.