Hindered by Hollywood
So, who benefits from the filming of movies in downtown Pittsburgh? Certainly not the small-business owners whose businesses are decimated during the time that movies film.
Without compensation, movie filming blocks off access to our places of business and limits foot traffic to our establishments. Of course, the city grants variances for sidewalk use, parking anywhere on the streets and closing streets and alleys used by small businesses for delivery.
I can only expect that the Pittsburgh Film Office is compensated in many ways. The film production company is subsidized via tax credits created and paid for through tax dollars — my and my business's and employees' tax dollars.
The public safety individuals are compensated and, of course, Haddad's is compensated for services it provides for movie crews, and the people employed to drive and work on the movies are compensated. All good for those people; they are working and deserve it.
Yet, my little restaurant and jazz club suffers with each movie filming in Pittsburgh, with little or no compensation.
I am working also, as are my servers and musicians. We earn on bodies in the seats.
When you make it difficult for our customers to get to us, we can't earn!
Elias P. Kazas
The writer owns and manages Mahoney's Restaurant and Little E's Jazz Club on Liberty Avenue.