You don't have to know me all that well to know that one of the hot button topics upon which I have kvetched for years has been the lack of a decent movie theater in the North Hills suburbs of Pittsburgh. All that we movie going denizens of the North Hills have had available to us is the dumpy Rave Cinemas on McKnight Road which opened sometime during the Carter Administration. Since that time, state-of-the-art movie theaters have opened all over Allegheny County - you know, digital projection, HD screens, surround-sound, cup holders in the seats - but to enjoy those amenities, North Hills residents needed to get in the car and drive 30-40 minutes to the Cinemark in Robinson Township, or even - gasp!! - drive all the way to the SOUTH HILLS to see a movie in 21st century comfort.
Well, all that changed this weekend with the appearance elf this bad boy on the North Hill landscape:
Yes, Cinemark has finally opened it's newest movie palace in the new McCandless Crossing retail/residential development. Twelve separate theaters with digital projection, stadium seating, and all the other amenities that movie goers in the second decade of the 21st century have come to expect.
Mrs. Grandstander and I toddled on out there this afternoon for our first look at this long-awaited venue. It is not as big as the Cinemark Multi-plex in Robinson, but it has all that that place has going for it. It is going to be really nice to be able to attend movies in comfort and style and only have to drive about ten minutes to get there.
One thing that this venue has that the Cinemark in Robinson does not have is a bar. Yeah, you read that correctly, a bar. Honestly now, is it really necessary to be able to serve beer, wine, and cocktails in a movie theater? Here's hoping that the movie going experience doesn't descend to the level of going to a Steelers game or an evening on Carson Street. Still, since most of the movies we attend are on weekday afternoons, I'm figuring we won't be the ones who will be dealing with that particular problem. I should note that today, when we arrived for a 1:15 matinee, there were indeed people lined up at the bar.
The only other nit that I will pick here is that the parking seems to be a bit tight in the McCandless Crossing parking lot, and that this problem figures to be exacerbated once more and more of the development's stores and restaurants are completed and opened for business.
All in all, though, welcome to the North Hills, Cinemark! Your arrival is long overdue!