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Bus tours to put movie buffs on location throughout Pittsburgh

James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - JEK BATMAN0811 05 The 'Tumbler' sits on Smithfield Street near Oliver Avenue with a layer of fake snow during filming of new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' that complicted the morning rush by shutting down several streets downtown August 10, 2011.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> James Knox  |  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>JEK BATMAN0811 05 The 'Tumbler' sits on Smithfield Street near Oliver Avenue with a layer of fake snow  during filming of new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' that complicted the morning rush by shutting down several streets downtown August 10, 2011.
- The reflection of a helicopter carrying the stunt double for Matthew Broderick lands on a building near PPG Plaza, after filming a scene for the Inspector Gadget movie, Saturday, September 26th, 1998. (COPY DESK-IF ONLY USING ONE PHOTO, PLEASE USE THIS ONE)
The reflection of a helicopter carrying the stunt double for Matthew Broderick  lands on a building near PPG Plaza, after filming a scene for the Inspector Gadget movie, Saturday, September 26th, 1998. (COPY DESK-IF ONLY USING ONE PHOTO, PLEASE USE THIS ONE)
- Downtown visitors roam through a different PPG Plaza during a break in the filming of the Inspector Gadget movie, Saturday, September 26th, 1998. A statue of the movie villain and an addition to the central obelisk give a facelift to the plaza's look.
Downtown visitors roam through a different PPG Plaza during a break in the filming of the Inspector Gadget movie, Saturday, September 26th, 1998. A statue of the movie villain and an addition to the central obelisk give a facelift to the plaza's look.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - JEK BATMAN0811 04 Movie crewmembers cover Oliver Avenue at Wood Street with a layer of fake snow during filming of new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' that complicted the morning rush by shutting down several streets downtown August 10, 2011.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> James Knox  |  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>JEK BATMAN0811 04 Movie crewmembers cover Oliver Avenue at Wood Street with a layer of fake snow  during filming of new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' that complicted the morning rush by shutting down several streets downtown August 10, 2011.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - JEK BATMAN0811 01 Pedestrians cross Oliver Avenue at William Penn Place over a layer of fake snow during filming of new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' that complicted the morning rush by shutting down several streets downtown August 10, 2011.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> James Knox  |  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>JEK BATMAN0811 01 Pedestrians cross Oliver Avenue at William Penn Place over a layer of fake  snow  during filming of new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' that complicted the morning rush by shutting down several streets downtown August 10, 2011.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - JEK BATMAN0811 03 Movie crewmembers cover Oliver Avenue at Wood Street with a layer of fake snow during filming of new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' that complicted the morning rush by shutting down several streets downtown August 10, 2011.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> James Knox  |  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>JEK BATMAN0811 03 Movie crewmembers cover Oliver Avenue at Wood Street with a layer of fake snow  during filming of new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' that complicted the morning rush by shutting down several streets downtown August 10, 2011.
- Aerial view of Heinz Field taken Friday, August 5, 2011 by WPXI shows scenery being prepared for Saturday's filming of the Batman film, 'Dark Knight Rises.' (WPXI)
Aerial view of Heinz Field taken Friday, August 5, 2011 by WPXI shows scenery being prepared for Saturday's filming of the Batman film, 'Dark Knight Rises.' (WPXI)

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‘Lights, Camera, Pittsburgh!'

Tickets for the movie and TV tour are $30 to $40, depending on the number purchased. They go on sale May 12 at ShowClix.com. Tours are set for select Saturdays from May 31 through October. Coupons and private group tours will be available.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, May 3, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise and Batman are coming back to the 'Burgh — as memories immortalized in a tour showcasing the city's history in movies and television.

“Lights, Camera, Pittsburgh!” kicks off May 31 and will be operated by Pittsburgh Tours and More, a new division of Pittsburgh Transportation Group, which operates taxis, buses and more. VisitPittsburgh, the region's tourism agency, will promote the tour.

“We're excited about this finally getting kicked off,” said Dawn Keezer, director of the film office that opened in 1990. Talks of a tour started shortly after, she said.

“People still want to know where the restaurant was in ‘Flashdance,' ” Keezer said. “They want to know where the church was from ‘The Deer Hunter.' ”

The tour begins with a ride up the Duquesne Incline to Mt. Washington, where sightseers will board buses and continue back down through Station Square, the area around Downtown's Market Square, across to the North Side, through the Strip District and back through Downtown's Cultural District.

Snacks, including popcorn, will be provided, and video clips of the movies and TV shows will be shown. The buses will stop so riders can get off and visit shooting locales.

Movies to be highlighted range from the 1968 zombie classic “Night of the Living Dead” to “Fathers and Daughters,” the Russell Crowe film in production. Other notable movies include:

• “Flashdance,” 1983

• “Striking Distance,” 1993

• “Inspector Gadget,” 1999

• “Wonder Boys,” 2000

• “The Bread, My Sweet,” 2001

• “She's Out of My League,” 2010

• “The Dark Knight Rises,” 2012

• “Jack Reacher,” 2012

• “Foxcatcher,” 2014

Productions shot in other city neighborhoods could be added.

“We're working to make sure it encompasses as much as possible,” said Jessica Conner, assistant director of the film office, who helped identify locations and worked on the tour script. “Our hope is that this will be wildly successful and we can expand to include more locations.”

The tour will provide Pittsburgh Tours and More with a way to boost tourism and give back to the community by partnering with nonprofits such as the Pittsburgh Film Office, which will receive a portion of ticket sales and publicity from the tours, said Sherris Moreira, director of the tours operation.

“We love the fact that we have a city that is ready for a movie tour,” Moreira said. “It means we are becoming a popular destination.”

VisitPittsburgh plans to promote the tour through advertising and social media and will use it to highlight the city, starting with a group of 75 travel writers arriving this month from Canada.

“Film tourism is a growing trend,” said VisitPittsburgh spokeswoman Connie George. “This is huge for the city because it adds to the product we have to sell.”

Jason Cato is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7936 or jcato@tribweb.com.

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