Bank Cinemas I & II

307 4th Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Cinemette Corporation of America

Architects: Bernard J. Liff

Firms: Liff, Justh & Chetlin

Functions: University

Previous Names: Bank Cinema

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News About This Theater

The Bank Center

The cinema was located on the second floor of the building, and opened on Christmas Day in 1976 as the downtown Pittsburgh theaters were going into decline. It was closed on August 28, 1986 with William Petersen in “Manhunter” & Sigourney Weaver in “Aliens”.

Contributed by 71dude

Recent comments (view all 39 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 5, 2010 at 6:49 am

Boxoffice of December 23, 1974, said that architect Bernard J. Liff was designing the twin cinemas that were to be built in the downtown Pittsburgh development called The Bank. The house was to be operated by Morgan American Management Corporation. Liff was also the lead architect for the Eastland Mall Theatre at North Versaille, Pennsylvania, and might have designed other theaters as well. He launched his practice in the mid-1930s.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 5, 2010 at 11:58 am

71dude,Thanks for listing all those movies.I worked in the business most of the 70’s and off and on in the 80’s so many of those titles I had forgotten.

csepe on November 27, 2010 at 4:06 am

You’ll possibly be happy to know that ONE of these original theaters is now The George R. White Theater of Point Park University, a fully equipped digital theater with fully-wired individual seat fibre-optic capacities and a large screen.
I am a professor in the Cinema and Digital Arts department and all of my classes take place in this theater. Many of the greatest films ever made are screened here regularly, in-full, for courses such as The History of American Cinema, the History of International Cinema, American Cinema of the 1970s, American Cinema of the 1990s, International Masters, American masters, The French New Wave … many more.

The space which Bank II occupied is now four converted classrooms.

James Kastner
James Kastner on February 3, 2011 at 7:37 am

csepe, What wonderful news to hear what Bank Cinema I & II have transitioned to. My only regret is that I just found this out and the info on Bank I&II in my soon-to-be-published book “Where The Movies Played In Downtown Pittsburg(h)” (from Rosedog Books) may not have the chance to be updated. However, thank you so much for sharing this info with us all and thank you for all the great things you do!

rivoli157 on November 12, 2011 at 7:50 pm

As I lived downtown at the time these theatres opened ,I know I saw movies here. For the life of me I cannot remember any titles though. I did enjoy having dinner at the Rusty Scupper in the Bank Complex before going to the movies though. Can anyone help with titles,it would have been from 1976-78

WarnerChatham on April 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Longtime Warner Theatre manager Paul Fleming oversaw this twin theatre through most of its life. I remember going there in the late winter / early spring of 1980 to see a “MGM Showcase Series” made of up of re-releases of Dr. Zhivago, Gone with the Wind, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

gwanner66 on April 18, 2012 at 9:28 am

We went downtown to see more than a few movies here in the late 1970s. It was unique, being in an upscale “mall” in a converted bank — very cool for its time.

rivest266 on September 2, 2014 at 7:06 pm

December 25th, grand opening ad in photo section.

JeffreyPepper on January 2, 2015 at 8:20 pm

The original Star Wars played at the Bank Cinemas for over a year from 1977 – 1978. No downtown Pittsburgh theater picked up Star Wars upon its initial release (it only played at Showcase Cinemas in Monroeville when it opened on May 25). Once the film exploded at the box office, the Bank managed to get it booked by July 20 and showed it on both screens initially. The Cinemette chain did not make the same mistake twice and booked The Empire Strikes Back in the Warner Theatre three years later.

dallasmovietheaters on July 10, 2022 at 8:54 pm

The Bank Cinema I & II closed permanently on August 28, 1986 with “Manhunter” and “Aliens” at end of lease. Four days later, the Pittsburgh Central Business District then lost both the Fiesta and the Chatham Cinema.

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