Row House Cinema announces return of pop-up drive-in theater to Strip District | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Row House Cinema announces return of pop-up drive-in theater to Strip District

click to enlarge Row House Drive-in - PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROW HOUSE CINEMA
Photo: Courtesy of Row House Cinema
Row House Drive-in
Drive-in movie theaters, once considered a quaint, dying relic of a bygone era, found a renewed purpose at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as people were able to enjoy movies and other entertainment from the safety of their cars. Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville recognized this and created its own urban drive-in experience in the Strip District.

Even as the theater gears up for its September reopening, Row House Cinema management announced it would bring its pop-up drive-in movie experience back, once again through a partnership with The Terminal.

“Honestly, the Row House Drive-in was too much fun to only do once,” said Row House CInema owner Brian Mendelssohn in a press release. “This is a rare opportunity to see the beautiful skyline of Downtown Pittsburgh at a drive-in movie. It's truly a breath-taking scene with wonderful movies and a cozy atmosphere for fall. It's going to be a first-class experience"


The outdoor drive-in cinema will take place every Friday and Saturday in October at the corner of 21st Street and Smallman Street, in a parking lot adjacent to The Terminal development in the Strip District.

The scheduled films include the 1982 blockbuster E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and the 1978 fantasy musical The Wiz, as well as Halloween staples like the 1993 cult horror-comedy Hocus Pocus and Pittsburgh favorite Night of the Living Dead.

Other selections include family-friendly titles like Labyrinth, Coraline, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, as well as more adult favorites like Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, Beetlejuice, and Shaun of the Dead.

In addition to the screenings, Row House will also provide concessions like popcorn and movie candy, all available to pre-order and for sale on-site. They will also carry a selection of beer from a different local brewery each weekend.


The Row House Drive-in Theater was originally created in 2020 as a way to safely show movies during COVID-19. It also served as a way for Row House to continue reaching audiences after the single-screen boutique theater closed at the start of the pandemic in mid-March 2020.

Row House will conduct a soft opening at its Butler Street space beginning Sept. 3, followed by an official reopening on Sept. 25 complete with a gala event.

While the drive-in will happen after Row House opens, organizers believe that, as opposed to providing an alternative, it now adds to the fun offered by both the theater and The Terminal, an expansive multi-use space that now boasts a number of local and national tenants.

“Row House has been a great partner, and we’re excited to bring people to the Strip District Terminal with such a fun event,” says Courtney List, marketing manager for The Terminal. “Everyone loves a drive-in movie!”

Tickets for Row House Cinema’s pop-up drive-in theater are now available at rowhousecinema.com/2021-drive-in.

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