Pittsburgh and The Movies
From the 1920s to the 1950s, Pittsburgh was a major film exchange. Owned and operated by the movie studios, the exchanges housed offices, film libraries, and screening rooms. Paramount, Columbia Pictures, MGM, Universal Pictures and United Artists all had exchanges in the city on the Boulevard of the Allies. Today, the Paramount Building, with its signature mountain range logo above the entry, at 1727 Boulevard of the Allies, is the only building still intact. Recently, an initiative to preserve the historic building has been launched by citizens wishing to save some of the city's contributions to the film industry.
According to the Pittsburgh Film Office, more than 109 motion picture and television productions have been filmed in the city starting with Tancred Commandery which was filmed in 1898 in Pittsburg when Pittsburgh was spelled without the "h". Some blockbusters have been filmed in the area. Two films shot in Pittsburgh are among the American Film Institute's 100 Years . . . 100 Movies List. The Deer Hunter, with its all-star cast of Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep, chronicled three friends from Pittsburgh's Steel Valley and how their service in the Vietnam War affected their lives. The 1978 film won five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.
Also garnering five Academy Awards was The Silence of the Lambs. This 1991 film shot in Pittsburgh won Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Screenplay. The thriller sent a collective chill up the nation's spine as Jodie Foster, portraying FBI agent Clarice Starling, probed the diabolical mind of serial killer Hannibal Lecter, as portrayed by Anthony Hopkins.
Since the 1980s, hundreds of films have been filmed in the area - everything from comedy to drama. The acclaimed films Hoffa and Dominick and Eugene were filmed in the area and the madcap Houseguest and Kingpin also used the city as their backdrop. Even the caped crusader, Batman, roamed the streets of Pittsburgh during the making of The Dark Knight Rises in 2011.