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Holy Batmobiles! Batman film fleet on display at Heinz Field

| Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, 8:11 p.m.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
Tom Dry, 8, of Moon Township poses for a photo next to one of the Batmobiles, on display in front of Heinz Field on Saturday afternoon, November 17, 2012. Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
A group of kids get their photo next to one of the Batmobiles, on display in front of Heinz Field on Saturday afternoon, November 17, 2012. Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review

As a boy, Brandon Pickett would tie a towel around his neck and sit behind the wheel of his parents' car, opening and closing the garage door to imagine he was Batman driving out of the Batcave to take on the latest villain threatening Gotham City.

For Pickett, 30, of McCandless, the sight of all six Batmobiles and the Bat-Pod, on display on Pittsburgh's North Shore, brought back a rush of memories about his favorite superhero.

“I always wanted to drive this car,” Pickett said as he stared at the Batmobile from 1989's “Batman” movie starring Michael Keaton with his son, Noah, 3, wearing a Batman mask, standing at his side. “I know I never will. But I always imagined it.”

To mark the Dec. 4 home release of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the latest Batman movie, which was partially filmed in the city, Warner Bros. studio brought all the Batman vehicles — from the Adam West days through the latest movie trilogy — to Heinz Field on the North Shore. The home release will include an hourlong documentary about the multiple Batmobiles. All the vehicles, except for the Adam West Batmobile, are the originals used in filming.

Studio employees said the tour, which has been in Dallas, Cincinnati and other cities, has drawn tens of thousands of people.

Saturday was no exception. People started to line up several hours before the cars went on display at noon under an inflatable Batcave.

The crowd favorites on Saturday afternoon seemed to be the two muscular Tumblers and the Bat-Pod, both used in the 2011 filming here.

“My God, I love this,” said Halyse Domencic, 25, of McCandless, a substitute teacher with the Shaler Area School District, who saw the display with her father, Richard, 66, also of McCandless, and boyfriend Ed Emory, 33, of Allison Park. “I would love to drive (a Tumbler) to work. Can you imagine me pulling up in one of those?”

The Batmobiles will be on display from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday near Gate A of Heinz Field. There's no charge to see the display. Spectators cannot climb into any of the vehicles.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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