|Posted by Chris on January 20, 2018 at 10:30 AM||comments (0)|
As you are no doubt aware by now, the Hollywood Theater, the home of Can't Stop the Serenity Pittsburgh for the past four years, was recently purchased by an organization known as the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS), which claims to be Pittsburgh-based, but has only been operating in the area for about a year now and has its actual headquarters in Illinois.
Most of the recent reports of the sale in the news media have attempted to characterize the sale as some sort of rescue operation, citing statements by THS that the Hollywood was struggling to maintain its operations and that the building was in danger of being sold to a buyer who wanted to shut the theater down. At the open forum that was held at the Hollywood on Wednesday evening, January 17, the Friends of the Hollywood Theater (FOHT) made it very clear that nothing could be farther from the truth. The FOHT has, in fact, been operating comfortably, and were even attempting to raise the capital to purchase the building themselves. They were unaware that the owners had been secretly negotiating with THS right up until the point where they were informed of the sale.
As FOHT indicated in a public statement on January 19, "Of immediate consideration is Richard Fosbrink’s (Executive Director of THS) known and stated goal to show second-run films at the theater, as well as Joe Masher’s (Board President of THS) role in programming from afar." In other words, THS plans to turn the Hollywood into a single-screen version of a "Maxi-Saver Cinema" that shows movies that are about to become available on demand through cable providers or subscription services like Netflix and Hulu!
While it is easy to think that this might be a case in which, as Shakespeare would say, "Present fears are less than horrible imaginings," there are more than enough reasons to believe that THS has no intention of maintaining the unique programming and community connections that FOHT has worked to build through the years. Comments by former THS president and current member Karen Colizzi Noonan, which can be read in the Hollywood's statement of January 19, warn of "... a seismic shift in the operations and values of the organization..." and admit that it "...has steered away from the values and camaraderie under which THS was founded."
If that isn't enough of a red flag, consider this statement from THS' own website (emphasis is mine):
(THS Board President Joe) "Masher hopes to steer the direction of the Theatre Historical Society to be more of a business, so that it can sustain itself on revenue. He adds, “Our Theatre Affiliates Program is one way we are providing outreach to the exhibition community. It is our hope that they will, in turn, become affiliates of THS and provide us with historical information on their buildings. Once built, we will potentially guide that program to be a resource for vendors and suppliers.”
Hmm ... Sounds a lot like Alliance talk to me.
So, what impact can we, a fan group that is admittedly as loosely woven as it is tightly knit, hope to have on such a situation? Well, as Mr. Universe says in Serenity, "You can't stop the signal." We need to make our voices heard if we want to help preserve the Hollywood not only as a host site for our city's CSTS charity screenings for Equality Now, but also as a movie theater that is, in the words of FOHT's January 19 statement, "... the type of theater that hosts ‘His Girl Friday’ with a fantastic breakfast, a documentary about kangaroos, a Norwegian horror film, and a child’s birthday party all in the same week."
To that end, as the organizer of Can't Stop the Serenity Pittsburgh and an active member of the Rivers & Bridges Brigade of the PA Browncoats, I am urging you to do any or all of the following:
1. Write letters or send postcards to Mr. Brian Kelly, Hollywood Partners, c/o Kelly-Rielly-Nell-Barna Associates, 3535 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 and Mr. Richard Fosbrink, Executive Director, Theatre Historical Society of America, 461 Cochran Road, Box 144, Pittsburgh, PA 15228. Tell them that you are a friend of the Hollywood Theater and that you oppose the sale of the building to Theatre Historical Society of America. In your own words, be sure to tell them why.
2. Post about the sale on social media, especially Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtag #SaveTheHollywood. Be sure to let them know you oppose the THS plan to turn the Hollywood into a 2nd run cinema. If you feel as strongly about it as I do, make it clear that you will never attend a movie at the Hollywood Theater again if THS follows through with that plan!
3. Forward this message to anyone you know who is a member of a geek fan group of a lover of classic movies.
4. Sign the change.org petition calling on THS to be more transparent and authentic in its communication, both with the public and with its own members: https://tinyurl.com/y8n66lep" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://https://tinyurl.com/y8n66lep
5. Boost the signal! Tell your friends in Starfleet, the local chapters of the 501st Legion and the Rebel Legion, the Pittsburgh Ghostbusters, local Whovians and Potterheads, and any other local fan meet-up group to get involved. We need to be united on this. If the Hollywood as we know it ceases to exist, we all lose.
Thanks for being on board.
Chris Tobias (Organizer, CSTS Pittsburgh)
|Posted by Chris on August 24, 2017 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
Matt Black of the Delaware Valley Brigade is going to do a run of patches for the Brigades of the Pennsylvania Browncoats. There are five (5) Brigades: Delaware Valley Brigade, Susquehanna Valley Brigade, Rivers & Bridges Brigade, Woods & Mountains Brigade, and Mines & Mountains Brigade. At the end of this post is a list of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Counties that are in each brigade in case the attached map (on the "Photos" page of this site) isn't clear. Proofs of the Brigade Patches are on the "Photos" page of this site. The Chinese characters mean "Pennsylvania Browncoats". A proof of the Pennsylvania Browncoats patch is also on the "Photos" page. (It's the green PA Browncoats logo.) Its Chinese characters mean "Pennsylvania".
Initially, these patches will ONLY be sold in SETS so we can get a full run of all of the Brigade patches. There will be two (2) sets available. "Set 1" is just the five (5) Brigade patches and will cost $40. "Set 2" is the five (5) Brigade patches plus one (1) Pennsylvania Browncoats patch for a total of six (6) patches for $45.
To read the original the Facebook interest post, go to the "Links" page of this site and click on the link for the PA Browncoats Facebook page. You can order directly on the original Facebook post simply by indicating in the comments "Set 1" or "Set 2" plus quantity of each set, e.g. "x1", "x2", etc.
Or email Matt Black directly at [email protected] with what you're interested in if you aren't on Facebook.
Here's the list of counties in each Brigade:
DELAWARE VALLEY BRIGADE
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Counties: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and some regions of Southern New Jersey and Northern Delaware
SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY BRIGADE
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Counties: Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntington, Juniata,, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Schuykill, Snyder, Union, York and some regions of Northern Maryland and Northern West Virginia
RIVERS & BRIDGES BRIGADE
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland and some regions of Northern West Virginia and Eastern Ohio
WOODS & LAKES BRIGADE
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Counties: Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango, Warren and some regions on Northeastern Ohio and Southwestern New York
MINES & MOUNTAINS BRIGADE
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Counties: Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, Wyoming and some regions of Southeastern New York and Northwestern New Jersey
|Posted by Chris on August 5, 2017 at 11:50 AM||comments (0)|
If you attended this year's CSTS Pittsburgh, we are seeking your feedback. Please take a minute or two to fill out our survey:
Your feedback will help us make future CSTS events better. We'll leave it open until August 19, but you want to do it ASAP, while the memory of the event is still fresh and so you don't forget the survey altogether. Your input is much appreciated.
And don't forget, you can vote for CSTS Pittsburgh for "Best Fundraising Gala" in the City Paper's Best of Pittsburgh 2017 Readers' Poll once per day until August 18:
That is all. As you were.
|Posted by Chris on August 1, 2017 at 10:05 AM||comments (1)|
CSTS Pittsburgh has been nominated for "Best Fundraising Gala" in the 2017 City Paper "Best of Pittsburgh" poll! It sure would go a long way towards boosting our signal if we were to win that title, or at least make a strong showing. You'll find the link for it below. Please vote, and tell as many folk as you can to vote too. You can vote once per day through August 18. And while you're at it, if you see any of our Big Damn Supporters nominated, be sure to vote for them too. You can find a list of those folk on the "Links" page of this site.
That is all. Now go vote! I'll be in touch.
|Posted by Chris on August 1, 2017 at 10:00 AM||comments (0)|
I want to thank everyone who came out to CSTS Pittsburgh 2017 at the Hollywood Theater this past Sunday. I hope everyone had as much fun as the crew and I did. We raised a total of $515.50 this year. $51.50 of that will be donated to the Al Wooten, Jr. Heritage Center in memory of Ron Glass. The rest will go to Equality Now. Special thanks to our hosts, the Hollywood Theater, and our sponsor, geekpittsburgh.com. Of course we're already conjurin' ways to make next year's event even better, so if you had a good time, please tell your friends about us.
To date, CSTS Pittsburgh has raised over $12,000 for Equality Now and other charities, and we're part of a global effort that has raised over $1.2 million! Thank you for being a part of that.
And we're not done yet! We'll see you next year at the 13th annual CSTS Pittsburgh.
|Posted by Chris on July 24, 2017 at 9:45 AM||comments (0)|
Can you believe we're less than one week away from CSTS Pittsburgh? I know I can't. My crew and I are all kinds of busy getting ready for Sunday's shindig. Here are some last-minute things we think you need to know:
The doors open at noon. There won't be any live entertainment this year, so you'll have a full two hours before the movie to play games, win prizes and get your tickets in for the raffles. We'll have four games this year-- Zoe's Shootin' Gallery, Badger's Dodgy Dice, Jayne's Grenade Throw and Kaylee's Sprocket Toss. We'll be using the Blue Sun Credit cards for game play again this year, which you'll be able to purchase along with raffle tickets. It's free to get in, but you'll still need to make at least a $10 donation to Equality Now/the Wooten Center to see the movie, and we will have a special raffle for those who've never seen the film before, so if you bring someone who's never seen Serenity, make sure they tell the volunteer at the box office that they want to enter the first-timers' raffle.
Parking should not be an issue. We have received permission again this year to park in the parking lot of the church across the street from the Hollywood Theater, but ONLY AFTER 12:30PM. Please do not violate this rule. North Way Christian Community has been very welcoming to us for the past several years, and we don't want to spoil that relationship. Dong ma? If you get there before 12:30pm, you can either park on the street or in any of the other public lots near the Hollywood, since there is no charge to park on Sundays.
The event is BYOB. However, if you're going to enjoy the best of beverages that make you blind, please do so responsibly, and please be respectful of the Hollywood Theater's rules regarding alcohol, which are that you should stick to beer and wine, dispose of all bottles properly (we hope that one's obvious) and refrain from taking alcohol into the balcony of the theater. And of course, in the state of PA you have to be 21 to drink alcohol, so if you're a minor, you'll have to stick to the water and soda that's available at concessions.
Costumes are encouraged, and we're not the type to get jumpy about replica weapons. We just ask that if you are bringing that replica blade or firearm as an accessory for your costume, please be judicious about where and how you wear it outside the theater. We reckon other Dormont establishments won't be expecting their Sunday afternoon patrons to show up armed, and we wouldn't want to contribute to any dramatic misunderstandings.
And finally, we want to remind you that the only food and beverages available at the event are movie concessions (popcorn, candy and the like), so if you're thinking you might get a bit peckish, you'll want to eat a late breakfast or early lunch before coming to the shindig. We don't have any official after-party planned, but the crew will likely be heading over to Fredo's Deli (right next door to the Hollywood) after we close everything down. They have very good food, and have been very friendly to CSTS Pittsburgh in the past, so we don't see why we'd need to go anywhere else to grab ourselves dinner. They're open until 7pm, so if you're thinking of grabbing a meal after the movie, you might want to consider joining us.
That's about it. I look forward to seeing you all this Sunday at high noon for the 12th annual Can't Stop the Serenity Pittsburgh charity screening.
|Posted by Chris on July 1, 2017 at 1:45 PM||comments (0)|
Yeah, I know. It's been a while. I meant to be in touch earlier, but as a certain Corellian smuggler would say, I got a little sidetracked. I hope you're all enjoying your Independents Day (or is that Independence Day?) weekend. I'm sending this wave now to give you two big reminders.
First of all, we are now officially less than one month away from CSTS Pittsburgh! That's right, our big damn screening of the best gorram sci-fi film in the 'verse is at the end of this month. It's actually the same exact date as last year, July 30, but this year it's going to be a matinee screening at 2pm. We're still at the historic Hollywood Theater in Dormont, PA. Doors will open at noon for games and raffles, and admission to the event is free. You do have to make at least a $10 donation to get a ticket for the movie though, because just like every year we're throwing this shindig partly because we're doin' good works. This year 90% of the proceeds from our event will go to Equality Now, and 10% will go to the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center in honor of the late Ron Glass.
One change this year is that we won't be able to use the parking lot across from the Hollywood Theater because the church to which it belongs will need it for their Sunday services. Don't let that bad news bother you though, because since it'll be a Sunday, the good news is that if you can't find a spot on the street, you can park in the public lots around the theater without having to pay.
To stay up-to-date on all the news about CSTS Pittsburgh, you'd best check back here at the website on a pretty regular basis. It's also a good idea to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. There are links to both of those on the homepage of this site. Just look up at the top.
Okay, now to Browncoat Ball, the annual national gathering of Browncoats. This year, if you haven't heard, the Browncoat Ball is being hosted in Gettysburg, PA by the PA Browncoats, with the Philadelphia Browncoats taking point. The ball is being held from August 11-13, and around 10 of the Browncoats from our brigade (myself included) have already confirmed they'll be attending. The HQ for the event is the historic (and supposedly haunted) Gettysburg Hotel, so it makes sense that you'd want to stay there. The thing is, the hotel room block associated with the ball closes July 7, and there aren't many rooms left, so if you want to attend, you need to go for hard burn and register for the BCB as soon as possible. To do that, go to the event's website, which is www.browncoatball.com. Hope to see you there.
That's all for now. We have a couple of mighty fine shindigs coming up real soon, so I hope to see you all before long.
|Posted by Chris on April 17, 2017 at 2:35 PM||comments (0)|
Hey, Browncoats! Don't forget that the ToonSeum's annual Ka-Blam! fundraiser is this Saturday, April 22. The theme this year is Cosmic Cause-Play and will feature great sci-fi costumes, themed activities and a pop-up showcase highlighting the work of Joss Whedon, creator of Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Let's not forget he's also responsible for bringing Marvel's Avengers to the big screen as both writer and director.)
There will be live drawings, coveted auction items, music provided by DJ Jay Malls and great fare and refreshments from some of Pittsburgh’s best local establishments. This is an event you don’t want to miss!
THE TOONSEUM WILL BE HONORING LOCAL COMICS STARS ED PISKOR AND CAITLIN ROSE BOYLE AT THE EVENT, ALONG WITH GREGG BEHR OF THE GRABLE FOUNDATION!
NOTE: The Ka-Blam! event has been relocated to the ToonSeum! DO NOT go to Teamster Temple, or you will find yourself bored and alone!
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS:
VIP Admission starting at 7pm.
General Admission starting at 8pm.
VIP Tickets are $75.
General Admission: $45.
The ToonSeum and its president, Anthony Letizia (founder of geekpittsburgh.com) have had a long-standing relationship with CSTS Pittsburgh, and Geek Pittsburgh is sponsoring CSTS Pittsburgh again this year. This is our chance to show our appreciation by supporting this important ToonSeum fundraiser.
I hope to see you there.
|Posted by Chris on April 17, 2017 at 2:05 PM||comments (0)|
Believe it or not, this year's CSTS season is already in full swing! That means t-shirts other merchandise with a shiny new logo. T-shirts are under contract with Represent again this year. In fact, the current campaign has already been launched. Not only can you buy official CSTS 2017 t-shirts in your choice of color, but you can also get long-sleeve shirts, hoodies, tank tops and ladies' tees. And in the "something new" department, CSTS is also offering phone cases this year, and those will be on a per-order basis and not run on campaign, so you can get them pretty much on-demand. Shiny! As with last year, all proceeds go to Equality Now and we are very happy to be able to offer them to you this year in this manner so you can have them in plenty of time for our event at the Hollywood Theater on July 30.
To order your CSTS merchandise, just head on over to the "Web Store" on this very site, where you'll find links to the pages to order both the shirts and the phone cases.
Now go treat yourself to some new CSTS gear and support the fine folk at Equality Now!
|Posted by Chris on October 23, 2016 at 9:45 AM||comments (0)|
This year's Can't Stop the Serenity season comes to a close this week with the annual global auction, which will run on eBay from October 24-30. CSTS will post the URL for the auction on their website, www.cantstoptheserenity.com, but you can find it on eBay if you search for the account of the California Browncoats, who are hosting the auction online.
There will be a number of rare and signed items in the auction, including some that were donated by our brigade, thanks to Sara and Jeff McClelland and Bob Averell. The items contributed by our brigade include a PA Browncoats Rivers and Bridges Brigade t-shirt signed by Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, Jewel Staite and Gina Torres, a promo poster for the new Serenity: No Power in the Verse comics series signed by Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk and Joss Whedon, a promo poster for the new Amazon The Tick TV series signed by Ben Edlund, a Serenity: Those Left Behind graphic novel signed by Joss Whedon, and a Con Man promo poster signed by Alan Tudyk.
All proceeds from the auction go directly to Equality Now, so it's one last chance this year to do good works to help some folk who need it-- and pick yourself up some really shiny loot while you're at it.
So bid with confidence, and remember, if you can't do something smart, do something right. As always, thanks for your support of CSTS and Equality Now.