Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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Pittsburgh Bike Fest 2010

August 4, 2010

August 6th- 15th

The ultimate goal is a multi-modal, safe, sustainable transportation system for Pittsburgh. The proximate goal is to have fun, meet folks, and ride bicycles.

Bike Fest 2010

Bikefest begins on Friday and consists of a variety of bike related activities. There are scores of organized bike rides, ranging from light, family-friendly rides around town, to arduous, uphill, 90-mile bikeathons. There are bike games such as polo, rodeo, and a scavenger hunt. There are classes on bicycle maintenance and repair. There are lectures on sustainable transportation. There are midnight rides, early morning rides, rides that cross bridges, historic rides, and city tour rides.

The best thing about Bikefest is that anyone can organize an event. Bike Pgh is acting as the hub for planning and information distribution, but the festival is essentially a people’s festival in which anyone can create or attend any event. So, if you want to, say, sponsor a naked bike ride, or a Halloween costume bike ride, a spray paint my bike pink and cover it with glitter activity, or what have you, feel free!

On Wednesday the 11th, Filmmakers will sponsor a free showing of The Great Muppet Caper, the greatest adventure ever to involve a frog, an elegant pig, and bicycles.

Muppets on bikes

Pennsylvania has been rated as one of the worst states for bicycling. In order to raise the ranking, the state needs to have more bike lanes, better maintained roads, larger shoulders, etc. It also needs more bikers. It may seem odd that increasing the number of bikers will increase biker safety, but there are a few reasons. First, if there are more bikers, drivers will expect them and take precautions. Secondly, there is safety in numbers. If ten people bike together, they are an easily noticeable force. Also, the more bikers there are, the stronger the biker lobby. Even if it is an unofficial lobby, one with no central organization or money, it could still be a powerful.

So, to make Pittsburgh a better place for all bicycles, for the environment, and for the future of mankind, get out there and play pick up bike polo!

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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.

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February happenings…

February 2, 2009

Film Kitchen is coming up in a week-ish. Tuesday night (Feb. 10) marks the monthly screening-with-food even, which will happen at the Melwood screening room here at the PF facility. This month’s Film Kitchen will feature Shelter: a Squatumentary (Hannah Dobbz), Gone, and Son of Richard (both by Eddie Bursch). Admission is $5, with the reception (and food!) at 7 pm and the films starting at 8.

The film schedule for February for all three theaters, including the more romantic Sunday night series can be found here along with a brief synopsis of all movies being shown.

Other than that, class is in session and we’re hard at work up at Filmmakers, bringing in the best of independent and well-loved classics for your viewing pleasure. Hope to see you at one of the shows!

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Adventures in setting up exhibits…

January 17, 2009

Pittsburgh, 2009. Picture it. (If you know where “picture it” comes from, you’re my new hero.)

It’s 9 in the morning. 1 degree is the actual temperature. I (native Texan) am dressed in every single piece of warm clothing I own. I have on three pairs of socks, but only one pair of gloves. I begin to wonder what I’m in store for as I clear the snow off my car. I get in and let it warm up, and then I head to the gas station. I pull up to the ONLY pump on the premises that has no latch to keep the pump pumping without me having to hold it. So I stand there, in the bitter cold, waiting to fill up my SUV from empty.

10 minutes and 10 very frozen fingers later, I am in the car heading to Pittsburgh Filmmakers to meet up with my coworker. We get a quick breakfast to warm ourselves up and fortify ourselves for the work and weather. We head back to the office, load my car with pieces of art, and get directions.

As I’m getting directions (on the slowest computer on EARTH), my coworker tells me that we have one more stop in downtown. 15 minutes later, we head out with directions in hand.

Here we are, driving into downtown Pittsburgh on a Friday morning, and the temperature is barely above zero. We have directions and a vague plan. We stop in front of a gallery and load four pieces of art into my already stuffed car. We take off in the wrong direction for the Pittsburgh Technology Council. We figure out (as we are about to cross a bridge) that we’re heading in the wrong direction and make a u-turn. Finally, we find the street and make the turn.

About 5 minutes and some confused looks later, I accidentally run a red light (I blame it on the bridge) and we wind up at a dead-end street that is very obviously NOT where we are supposed to be. I turn to go around the block, and wind up at the same light I ran as a cop pulls up. I’m trying to determine if this same light is actually green while trying to decide on right or left. After a few fakes in each direction, I turn left and double back. My coworker urges me to turn around so we can try again, but every time I check my mirrors, there are at least 3 or 4 cops in the vicinity.

At this point, I’m convinced that a crazy Texan driver has been called in and all units are on the lookout for me. I’ve turned from a 25 year old film buff into that crazy grandma driver. Or perhaps, someone has seen all the oddly shaped, wrapped packages obscuring my view and called us in as art thieves, leading to not-so-subtle surveillance. Who knows? All of this is happening while we are still in downtown. We finally get turned around, but that was close to where we started. We retrace our steps and realize that the light that I originally ran is the light where I should have turned left. This time, I make the turn.

As we’re on this new street, another cop pulls up alongside me, toying with me, daring me to mess up. Thank goodness I had a navigator or I probably would have had a heart attack! At one point, we pass a right turn (and hey, the directions called for a right turn!) that didn’t have a street sign. I make a (bad) decision to turn right in the off chance this is where we are supposed to be, and we wind up in front of the jail(click on bird’s eye view for the full effect). On a very narrow street. In an SUV.

After a 4396-point turn, I manage to swing the car around and head back out. Wouldn’t you know it, as we get back onto the main street, ANOTHER cop is there ready to pick up where the first left off? We keep driving, and finally wind up in a familiar area. Realization hits us at the same time. We were maybe a mile away from Filmmakers in an area both of us knew. And it only took us about an hour and a half to finally get there!

I park (crookedly) in the handicapped space as people from PTC come out and help us unload. I check my phone and see several missed calls and texts from my boss. Thankfully my coworker reminded me to check, otherwise we would have had to repeat that trip! We unload one of the four extra pieces we picked up downtown, as it is being added to the exhibit. We are happy that the job is done, but the best part is knowing that due to the nature of the business, the exhibit won’t be set up until next week…

We almost always set up early because dear old Murphy usually tries to interfere with the best-laid plans, as this little adventure clearly shows. Oh well though…this misadventure is only an excuse to have an after-work drink and a chance to warm our frozen extremities. All of this is also EXACTLY why we expect to be seeing you at the exhibit (details below) next week!