Friday, September 16, 2011

Hanging at the Hollywood Theater

By Bratzilla

Okay, so maybe no one really hung themselves here. Well, at least not that we know of. We chose the recently resurrected Hollywood Theater in Dormont as our inaugural topic simply because it’s probably one of our most frequented haunts, and it’s pretty awesome.

Constructed in 1924 as billiard hall/bowling alley, the historic Hollywood Theater building didn’t officially became a single screen movie house until the ‘40s when it was purchased by Warner Bros. Later fated to die what seems like a thousand deaths with a series of owners and closures over the years, the Hollywood has more recently risen from the ashes once again to become a horror junky’s nightmare come true. So far, we’ve seen a dozen movies here – the highlights being Army of Darkness (one of the few films we’ve attended this year that actually elicited applause afterwards) and Caustic Zombies, directed by local horror maverick Johnny Daggers.

This summer, as part of a ramp up effort for the long anticipated 2011 Horror Realm Convention (the evil brain child of Hollywood board member Sandy Stuhlfire) the theater hosted 12 Weeks of Horror, showing classics like White Zombie and Carnival of Souls. At a screening of The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, they even incorporated some live action, rolling out a lab table, complete with severed head, pickled eyeballs and bubbling brains. And, yes, we even preceded a twelve year old in putting our noggins on the tray like “Jan the Pan” (see left).

If you haven’t been here yet, you really need to go. While we’re not always talking 35mm prints, who are we to be film snobs? The experience of seeing a movie on a screen larger than our TVs is still great. Add some super cheap candy and popcorn (refreshments here are really affordable) that makes you feel hung over the next day and it gets even better.

Every time we go to the Hollywood, which we should also mention is also a nonprofit, there are never as many seats filled as there should be. If you have any spare change, please give this fine establishment your pennies and you’ll get a lot in return … particularly in the forms of zombies, vampires and other ghouls. After all, da ‘Burgh would be a significantly lamer place without it.

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