News Column

Film Notes: Cinemark theaters plan June series of Spielberg flicks

May 31, 2013


May 31--"Jaws" changed how movie studios -- and audiences -- see the summer.

The season once was considered an elephant's graveyard where distributors buried their mistakes or released cheap genre pictures. It still rarely yields Oscar nominees but accounts for the biggest bounce in moviegoing all year.

The killer-shark tale "Jaws," already the seventh biggest grossing movie in North America of all time (when ticket sales are adjusted for inflation), will be back on the big screen at Cinemark theaters in June.

It will lead off the chain's classic series, with other Steven Spielberg favorites to follow. "Jaws" will be shown Sunday and Wednesday, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" June 9 and 12, "E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial" June 16 and 19, and "Schindler's List," June 23 and 26.

Shows on Sundays will be at 2 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2 and 7 p.m. Proceeds from the "Schindler's List" screenings will go to Mr. Spielberg's USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education. More information:

In related news, McKnight Road motorists can't help but notice (or hear, depending on where they live) that more trees are coming down and dirt is being moved for further McCandless Crossing construction.

Although subject to change, the Cinemark theater targeted for that development, on the east side of the road, is now expected to open in May 2014 while the Cinemark inside Monroeville Mall will flicker to life first, in November.

Each is expected to have 12 screens, stadium seating, all-digital projection and the sort of amenities that are standard. They will join existing Cinemark locations in Robinson, Frazer and Center, Beaver County.

Denis fundraiser set

Actor Tom Atkins and other members of the creative team behind "The Chief" will be honored at a June 20 event designed to raise money to renovate and reopen the Denis Theatre in Mt. Lebanon.

The summer gala, "Here Comes the Sun," will be held on the 12th floor and grand foyer of the Reed Smith Centre, 225 Fifth Ave., Downtown.

In addition to Mr. Atkins, who played Art Rooney Sr., the Denis Theatre Foundation's Tapestry Award will be given to writers Rob Zellers and Gene Collier (also a PG columnist); Ted Pappas, director of the popular stage production; Steve Parys, director of the film adaptation; and Thomas Chaffee, the film's managing partner.

The award is given to individuals and organizations that have enriched Pittsburgh's arts and culture.

Jon Delano, KDKA-TV's money and politics editor, and comedian Jimmy Krenn will emcee the event featuring 1960s music and decorations along with food, drinks, music, a silent auction and private patron reception.

Tickets are $150 or $250 and must be purchased in advance; none will be available at the door. To order or learn more, go to

The Denis, which opened in 1937 with a single screen, closed Sept. 12, 2004. The foundation, a nonprofit organization, was established in 2007 and plans were announced in 2008 to raise money to renovate the landmark in the heart of Mt. Lebanon's business district along Washington Road.

The foundation just crossed the $2 million mark in cash and pledges and is working toward $2.5 million for the first phase of a larger, more expensive project.

Plans call for the initial opening of the Encore, the second-floor auditorium accessible by the steps closest to the front doors, with two other theaters, a multipurpose room and small cafe eventually to follow. A concession stand will be part of the venue, too.

The focus will be on independent and foreign films, along with documentaries, and providing space for film lectures and series along with art displays.

No new timetable has been announced but organizers are working with an architect and possible contractors on updated cost estimates that will help set schedules and final designs.

Grub and 'Grand Duel'

Community Reel Arts Center, the former Parkway Theater in Stowe, will hold another of its Spaghetti Western Dinner Nites on Sunday.

Only 45 tickets, $8 each that includes food served at 5 p.m. and movie "The Grand Duel" at 6 p.m., will be sold, with prizes awarded to those in cowboy attire. For required reservations: 412-766-1668.

Cinematic couples for ages

"Sabrina" will kick off the Sunday night series at the Regent Square Theater celebrating legendary screen couples. All movies start at 8 p.m.

The Billy Wilder classic stars Audrey Hepburn as a chauffeur's daughter forced to choose between brothers William Holden and Humphrey Bogart. It inspired a 1995 remake, starring Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear, which didn't delight moviegoers in the same way.

"Annie Hall," winner of four Academy Awards including for best picture, actress Diane Keaton and director and co-writer Woody Allen, will screen on June 9.

"The Quiet Man," one of John Ford's greatest films and an endearingly sentimental portrait of Ireland with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, will be shown on June 16 as a Father's Day treat.

"Desk Set," starring Spencer Tracy as an efficiency expert and Katharine Hepburn as a research librarian who sees a computer as a threat to her department and co-workers, will play June 23.

The series will close with "Bonnie and Clyde," starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in their prime as bank robbers and lovers on the run during the Depression, on June 30.

Arty action heroes

"Die Hard." Craft Hard. Get it?

Wildcard, a Lawrenceville gallery and store emphasizing local artists and crafters, will open the show "Craft Hard: Art Inspired by Action Movies" June 6. It will celebrate action movies or stars such as Bruce Willis and Liam Neeson in needlepoint, illustrations and quilts.

The pieces are being created for the show by artists Andrew O. Ellis, Tara Goe, Elliot McNally (whose "Star Trek Quilts" was featured at Wildcard in 2010) and Mario Zucca.

There will be free snacks and drinks, along with action movie-inspired music, on opening night from 6 to 9 p.m. All pieces will be available for sale, along with prints from several of the artists.

Go to for more information. The show will run through July 22.

Chaplin films at Oaks

Pittsburgh jazz pianist Tom Roberts will make his next stop, with two silent Charlie Chaplin films, at the Oaks Theater in Oakmont at 7 p.m. June 15.

Mr. Roberts was commissioned to score the pair of silent shorts dating to 1916. In "One A.M.," a drunken gentleman arrives home and tries to get upstairs into bed all the while battling inanimate objects, while The Tramp enters "The Rink" and glides into all sorts of mischief and havoc.

Tickets will be $8 for general admission and $6 for seniors (62 and older), youths (17 and under) and college students with valid ID.

Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: or 412-263-1632. Read her blog:


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