Pittsburgh Flicks and Nightlife in July

This month: “The Vagical Mystery Tour” and the final days of the Rangos Omnimax Theater.

photo courtesy mr. Smalls presents


The unlikely pairing of outrage and humor is the defining mood of the early 21st century. Protest signs, social media memes and late-night television shows all have taken their inspiration from the mixture of positions and passions, facts and frivolity, intensity and irreverence. The Lady Parts Justice League is a loose collective of entertainers who use humor as a tool — or perhaps a weapon — in the political and cultural debate about women’s health issues, particularly abortion and reproductive rights. The group is traveling the country on its Vagical Mystery Tour, which is taking the message to 16 cities, including Pittsburgh with a stop on July 19 at Mr. Smalls (400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale; 412/821-4447, mrsmalls.com). Led by Lizz Winstead, who co-created “The Daily Show” and Air America, the show includes a range of comics and musicians, including Joyelle Johnson, Leah Bonnema, Buzz Off, Lucille and Jill Sobule.

––Eric Lidji

photo courtesy carnegie science center


If you grew up in 1980s or ’90s Pittsburgh, you likely remember being overwhelmed on your first trip to the Carnegie Science Center’s (carnegiesciencecenter.org) Rangos Omnimax Theater. Opened in 1991 — an era when dimly lit Hollywood features were projected on screens scarcely bigger than modern, top-of-the-line televisions — the Omnimax was a dazzling, state-of-the-art marvel, delivering the largest images attendees had seen as they stretched beyond the field of vision.

More than 25 years later, the format no longer is state-of-the-art. Even among the science and education documentaries that screen at venues such as the Science Center, many no longer are offered in the right format for the Omnimax Theater, which still uses 70-millimeter film and is not capable of digital projection. Its sound system, once a marvel in its own right, lags behind systems at nearby commercial theaters. Furthermore, the role of science museums is to showcase cutting-edge technology — a description that no longer applies to the beloved theater.

After more than a quarter-century of operation, the Omnimax Theater will close this month. Its replacement, the forthcoming Rangos Giant Cinema, likely will dazzle young audiences as its predecessor did a generation ago; the new, 70-foot screen will project 4K laser digital images (in 3-D when applicable) with Dolby Atmos sound, a new surround-sound technology that includes overhead speakers. The new theater once again will allow the Science Center to claim the title of most advanced cinema in the region (and, unlike the Omnimax Theater, periodically will show blockbuster-caliber Hollywood films).

Those who grew up with the familiar dome will get an opportunity for a proper sendoff. From 10 a.m. on July 8 through 5 p.m. the following evening, a 31-hour movie marathon will revive more than 15 favorites from throughout the theater’s history. A $10 ticket will allow guests unlimited, come-and-go access throughout the marathon. You’ll also leave with a special souvenir — a piece of the Omnimax Theater’s gigantic film stock.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Watch: The Terrible Towel and 45 Years of Steelers Nation

Perspectives from Franco Harris to Joe Manganiello.

Yinzers Eating Chicken Wings Are Going to Be on TV

Mt. Washington’s Bigham Tavern is the latest ‘Burgh eatery to host a film crew.

Madeline Bakery and Bistro to Open in Wilkinsburg

The French-inspired bakery will feature croissants, cookies, bread and more.

32 Years Celebrating Pittsburghers of the Year

As we honor the 2017 Pittsburghers of the year, take a look back at the previous honorees and their significant, unforgettable contributions to our city.

Wish a Steeler a Speedy Recovery in a Big Way

An oversized get-well-soon card for Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is waiting for your signature Downtown.

Watch: Who is Faster on a Zamboni? Crosby or Malkin?

Sid and Geno love to compete, especially against each other. This time, the future Hall-of-Famers climbed aboard Zamboni machines for a race across a parking lot.

2017 Pittsburgher of the Year: Kelly Frey

No one would blame the veteran WTAE anchor if she took time off while undergoing intensive breast cancer treatment. Instead, she chose to use humor and grace to educate and inspire others, all while in the public eye.

Steelers Can't Ease Their Patriots Pain Until January

Much as they’d like to, the Steelers won’t be able to exorcise the ghosts of AFC Championship Games Past, even with a win on Sunday.

Green Medicine: The Business of Medical Marijuana

For many, medical marijuana is a panacea capable of alleviating a wide range of symptoms. As Pennsylvania begins allowing the drug’s medical use, patients are relieved — and business is booming.

Restaurant Review: Casbah Still is Rocking

More than 20 years into its run, Casbah remains one of Pittsburgh’s most relevant restaurants.