Archive for June, 2009


A Worthy Cause: Denis Theater Foundation

June 24, 2009

It’s not every day we get the opportunity to both show support for a great arts initiative and suggest free events around town, so that’s why the Denis Theater Foundation’s Last Saturday Cinema makes us really happy.

In case you haven’t heard of the Denis Theater Foundation (and you should have), they’re a group of arts minded citizens dedicated to bringing back the Denis Theater in Mt. Lebanon. The original Denis operated as an arthouse movie theater from 1938 all the way until 2004, when it shut down. It was home to, among other notable happenings, Pittsburgh’s run of To Sir with Love. Also, it was one of the first theaters to show The Graduate before Dustin Hoffman’s break out film became mainstream.

In 2007, the Mt. Lebanon commissioner Raja bought the property, and teamed up with community leaders to form a foundation dedicated to bringing back the Denis. However, the new Denis isn’t just going to be a movie theater. The current plan is to turn the Denis Theater into a community arts center, housing classes, lectures, and showing of up and coming filmmakers work (something we’re always a fan of), in addition to independent movies. The Denis Theater Foundation wants to raise 3 million dollars to achieve this goal, and their fundraising efforts are well underway, despite the economic downturn.

This summer though, the Foundation is offering the Last Saturday film series, outside in the center of Mt. Lebanon. Films are the last Saturday of each summer month at 9, and will have all the amenities, including a covered seating area, concessions and a cash bar. They’re kicking it off with Bringing Up Baby, the Katherine Hepburn classic released the same year that the Denis originally opened. After the movie, there will be a critical discussion led by Elaine Wertheim.

If you’re interested in more about the Last Saturday Cinema series, or the Denis Theater Foundation, plenty of information can be found at their website, here.

They also have a blog, Denis Theater: Act 2. We know we’ll be sitting outside this Saturday munching some popcorn and enjoying a classic film, and hope to see you there.