North Side theater is X-rated — for Hollywood
By Bill Vidonic
Published: Friday, July 16, 2010,
More than one person passing the former Garden Theater in the North Side did a double-take Thursday, likely wondering whether a decade of working to rid the block of porn establishments suddenly reversed.
Workers replaced the neon on the old X-rated theater's dilapidated sign. Next door, a painter finished the words "Adult Books and Videos" on the old Apache Bar facade, while others put finishing touches on the Trenton Tattoo parlor, complete with neon lights and spray-painted graffiti.
"(Former) Mayor Murphy took a nap, and here's what happened," painter Darien D'Alfonso joked.
Turns out it's just movie magic.
A production crew for the film "One For the Money" starring Katherine Heigl is transforming the blighted city block into a seedy Trenton, N.J., street; filming starts Wednesday.
That means bringing the exterior of the Garden back to life and creating fake businesses, including a hoagie shop, from vacant storefronts.
"From our perspective, it's quite ironic, but at the same time it's exciting," said Joanna Doven, spokeswoman for Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. "There are good positive things happening in that area."
The city spent millions in a lengthy legal battle to clear dilapidated buildings from the section of North Avenue near Allegheny General Hospital before it bought the Garden for $1.1 million in 2007.
"I think it's great if it's bringing the city some money," neighbor Laurie Charlton said about the movie production. "Everybody in the neighborhood is excited about this block coming back to life."
The Northside Leadership Conference is accepting redevelopment proposals for the Garden and surrounding buildings. A meeting about the redevelopment is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday in the Children's Museum.
"It's a new day there soon," Doven said.
For a little while longer, though, it will look like the old days.
"I think it's kinda stupid," North Side resident William McCue said. "They could have just been here three or four years ago, and everything would have been open for them."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: Keeping faith in Letang is simple
- Steelers rookie RB Bell gets respect from teammates, foes alike
- Fleury, Crosby lead Penguins to victory over Sharks at Consol
- Steelers lineman Adams gets 2nd chance to start
- Steelers notebook: Woodley practices but unsure where he’ll play
- Penguins notebook: Injury keeps Malkin out against Sharks
- ‘Gritty but vibrant world’ of Braddock lures director of ‘Out of the Furnace’
- County takes lead on Monsour demolition
- With Pitt men ahead, gauntlet continues for Loyola Marymount
- Owner of Natrona Heights store indicted for food stamp fraud
- Dark Braddock setting of ‘Out of the Furnace’ reflects a dying way of life