Pittsburgh, PA

Lights, Camera, Action! Beloved Pittsburgh Theater Set for Long-Awaited Encore

Sara Irshad

A majestic art deco theater that has sat vacant along Washington Road for nearly two decades is about to make its triumphant return to the Pittsburgh cultural scene. The historic Denis Theatre in Mt. Lebanon will soon flicker back to life thanks to an exciting new partnership aiming to give this community gem a fresh start.

After 17 years of collecting dust since its closure in 2006, The Denis is ready for its close-up once again. The Denis Theatre Foundation, owners of the building, have joined forces with the team behind Lawrenceville's hip Row House Cinema to revive the theater in all its glory.

More than just movies will be on the menu - the revival calls for a full three-screen theater as well as a restaurant and bar, transforming The Denis into a premier entertainment destination in the South Hills.

"We intend to make The Denis a unique and vibrant place that strengthens the film community," said Brian Mendelssohn, owner of Row House Cinema. "Lawrenceville and Mt. Lebanon have different feels, and we look forward to programming that fits this one-of-a-kind venue."

The Foundation perceives this collaboration as an ideal fit, primarily due to the exceptional reputation of Cinema. Foundation President, Jon Delano, expressed his delight and shared his belief that Brian and his team possess admirable expertise in the realm of film, making them formidable leaders in the region.

This partnership is expected to be mutually beneficial for both parties involved.

Breathing new life into this 1937 art deco icon will require substantial renovation and fundraising. But hopes run high to reopen doors and enrich the community once more through diverse programming, discussions, and arts engagement.

While an exact reopening date is still under wraps, The Denis' encore inch closer. Soon buttery popcorn aroma and silver screen dreams will again fill the lobby. For Pittsburgh cinema lovers, the return of this historic theater promises a Hollywood-style happy ending.

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