Voted No. 3 on the 2011 Beacon’s Best for top movie theaters, Lake Cinemas 8 advertises a rotating octet of first-run films on a nostalgic marquee that heralds the refurbished theater's entryway. Viewers settle into comfy seats as they share puffed kernels of corn, sip sodas, and, as the lights dim, recall fond memories of tunneling into bank vaults. Visitors can choose from a selection of popular new releases or anxiously anticipate a bevy of coming attractions.
An old-fashioned pair of comedy and tragedy masks greet drivers pulling up to the marquee of Aut-O-Rama Drive-In. The vintage aesthetic is fitting for an establishment that?s been in business since 1965 and is now in its third generation of being operated by the Sherman family. Although the cinematic lot prides itself on being the first in the area to offer AM-radio sound, today, Dolby FM stereo bathes cars in field-filling acoustics as audiences take in a library of contemporary flicks. From the start of April to the end of September, first-run and well-worn films alike await vehicular cinephiles, who can munch on burgers, subs, and pizza, along with desserts such as ice cream and funnel cake.
Sistah Sinema started, alliteratively, in Seattle. The mission is simple: to celebrate queer women of color in film. Each month, the team screens a movie created by a queer woman of color, followed by a discussion, in which viewers share their thoughts and unanimous feeling that popcorn could become popular. The events in Seattle drew such a following, that organizers quickly expanded across the country, to cities such as Portland, Greensboro, and Atlanta. The collective has displayed a diverse patchwork of films ranging for rom-coms and dramas to documentaries.
Accomplished actor Jessica Houde owns and operates the Houde School of Acting, bringing with her a lifetime of experience as a working actor in Los Angeles. Houde teaches the Meisner Method of acting, an interdependent series of exercises that encourage students to commit to an objective, rather than a script or an overenthusiastic extra. See the school’s schedule for additional information.
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.
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.