Steel City charity screenings for Equality Now


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CSTS Pittsburgh is less than one month away (and then there's also Browncoat Ball in August)!

Posted by Chris on July 1, 2017 at 1:45 PM Comments 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.

Keep flyin',

Cap'n Chris

Don't forget about the ToonSeum's Ka-Blam! Cosmic Cause-Play Event this Saturday

Posted by Chris on April 17, 2017 at 2:35 PM Comments 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!


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!



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.

Keep flyin',


CSTS 2017 Merchandise is Now Available for Purchase Online

Posted by Chris on April 17, 2017 at 2:05 PM Comments 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!

Keep flyin',


CSTS Global Auction: Oct. 24-30

Posted by Chris on October 23, 2016 at 9:45 AM Comments 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.


Keep flyin',




Our Donation to Equality Now

Posted by Chris on August 11, 2016 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The numbers are in, and we're proud to announce that this year's CSTS Pittsburgh screening of Serenity at the Hollywood Theater raised $781.50 for Equality Now.

In addition, we're contributing items to this year's CSTS Global Auction (thanks to Bob Averell and Sara and Jeff McClelland) that should also raise a significant amount of money for Equality Now.  Those items are:

  • A poster for the new Serenity "No Power in the Verse" comics signed by Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk and Joss Whedon (courtesy Sara and Jeff McClelland)
  • A hardcover Serenity "Those Left Behind" graphic novel signed by Joss Whedon (courtesy Sara and Jeff McClelland)
  • A poster for the new Amazon The Tick series signed by Ben Edlund (courtesy Sara and Jeff McClelland)
  • A Pennsylvania Browncoats Rivers & Bridges Brigade t-shirt signed by Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, Jewel Staite and Gina Torres (courtesy Bob Averell)
  • A Con Man poster signed by Alan Tudyk (courtesy Bob Averell)
We will of course, let local Browncoats know when those items go live on the global auction.  (Although we felt the need to auction them globally in order to maximize the amount of money they'll generate for Equality Now, we still think it would be very shiny if Browncoats from the Pittsburgh area were to win one or more of them.)

Thanks again to everyone who supported this year's shindig.  We look forward to doing it all again with you next year. 

--- Cap'n Chris

Firefly Fridays, anyone?

Posted by Chris on August 8, 2016 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Our brigade now has access to DVD copies of episodes of Firefly as they originally aired on Fox back in 2002, with promos, commercials and all. I don't know about you, but as somebody who came late to the party, I'm fascinated by the idea of watching Firefly the way a privileged few had the chance to do it back when it all began. Heck, the commercials themselves would be like watching a time capsule!


I was conjurin' that the brigade might want to have a series of "Firefly Friday" viewing parties in order to re-create as closely as possible the original viewing experience. Here's the notion:



We'd meet on Friday evenings at a public location that has the ability to screen the episodes (a place like Fredo's Deli, though that doesn't have to be the only location we consider and we may actually need more than one). Screenings would begin at 8pm (the show's original time slot).

We'd meet on the Friday nights closest to the original air dates (this year that's 9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 12/9, 12/16 and 12/23). If Fox skipped a week, we'd skip a week.

Yes, we'd show the episodes out of order, just like Fox did. And three of the episodes ("Trash," "The Message" and "Heart of Gold") wouldn't be shown at all.

What I need to know before I proceed with trying to organize something like this is how many members of the brigade would actually be interested. I don't expect everyone to make it every Friday. (Heck, I have a schedule conflict with that first Friday night my own self.) What I do need to know, though, is that there will be enough folk there each Friday evening to justify a screening. At this stage in the game, all I'm asking you to do if you're interested in this undertaking is e-mail me at [email protected] and let me know that you see yourself getting involved. If the initial response is healthy enough, we'll take it from there. So if you want to see this happen, send me a wave and let me know. Dong ma?

(PLEASE NOTE:  Because licensing is always an issue, this would be a private party for our brigade members only and would not be open to the public.  It's also important to note that the screenings would be 100% free of charge, and that they would be organized by the Rivers & Bridges Brigade of the Pittsburgh Browncoats and would NOT be CSTS events.)

 That is all. Keep flyin'.

--- Chris


PS--- If you attended CSTS this year, don't forget to take our survey:


https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/28PR2KS" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/28PR2KS

Thanks for a mighty fine shindig!

Posted by Chris on August 5, 2016 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)



Just wanted to take a moment to thank all the sponsors, donors, volunteers and attendees that helped make this year's CSTS Pittsburgh event at the Hollywood Theater the mighty fine shindig that it was (with very special thanks to Geek Pittsburgh, the Hollywood Theater and Sean Faust).  We still don't have an exact dollar figure for our donation to Equality Now because we still need to take care of some event expenses, but when we do know exactly how much we raised for the charity, we'll share that information on this website, on Facebook and on Twitter, so keep an eye out for that.


I suppose it's also time to announce officially that CSTS Pittsburgh will not be holding a charity screening of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog this year. The past couple Dr. Horrible screenings simply weren't well attended and didn't bring in enough for Equality Now to justify the effort and expense, so we'd prefer to concentrate our efforts on putting together the best Serenity shindigs that we can.


To that end, we'd like all who attended this year's CSTS Pittsburgh at the Hollywood Theater on July 30 to fill out the following online survey no later than Friday, August 19. Your feedback is vital to helping us organize the best CSTS events that we can in the Steel City, so please take a few moments to tell us what you think. Here's the link to the survey:


https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/28PR2KS" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/28PR2KS




Thanks for your feedback.


Keep flyin',




CSTS Pittsburgh is tomorrow!

Posted by Chris on July 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

CSTS Pittsburgh 2016 is TOMORROW at the Hollywood Theater at 5pm!


We've already told you all the logistics, and told you what you can win and how to go about winning it. Let's talk about the other entertainment at the event.


First off, we have a special "Browncoat Photo Station" at this year's event, courtesy of the fine folk at Firefly Cargo Bay. For one credit on your Blue Sun credit card, you'll be able to take a photo of yourself as the Mutant Enemy "Zompire," or get a couple of friends to pose with you as the Fruity Oaty Bar girls. 1 credit gives you the chance to snap either or both pictures, and our volunteer will do the honors for you, because nobody has arms long enough for a selfie at that distance! To see the boards in action, head on over to our Twitter feed (@csts_pgh) later today.


For them as might be interested, we'll also have a petition on hand that we'll be sending to SpaceX, asking founder and CEO Elon Musk (the real Tony Stark) to name SpaceX's first Crew Dragon spaceship, which will launch next year, after Serenity. This petition was inspired by the activism of takebackthesky.net, but even if you've done something through their site before, you'll still want to sign this petition, as it is unique to this year's CSTS Pittsburgh and will be mailed to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell following our event. Look for it in the lobby, or ask a volunteer where you can find it.


And finally, we're all manner of proud to be bringing Browncoat singer/songwriter Sean Faust back to the 'Burgh this year! Sean has played CSTS Pittsburgh twice before, but he's promising an all new show this year, including the CSTS Pittsburgh debut of a new song he co-wrote with Mikey Mason (of "She Don't Like Firefly" fame) called "A Guy Named Jayne." And of course, he'll still be playing Browncoat standards like "The Ballad of Serenity" and his Serenity-inspired song "Signal." (Sean donates 50% of all sales of "Signal" to Equality Now, and everyone who buys a ticket to see the film on Saturday will get a card with instructions on how you can download the tune.) And of course no Sean Faust show would be complete without the whole house joining him in a rousing rendition of "The Hero of Canton" for the finale! Sean isn't a one-trick pony though. He plays non-Browncoat material too, and if you're a fan of the Grateful Dead, Phish, Yes or Toad the Wet Sprocket, you are guaranteed to like his style. Sean takes the stage at 6pm, so be sure to get there in time. You don't want to miss it. (Also, Sean will be donating a bundle of his music as a raffle prize again this year, and he'll sign the CD's for the lucky winner.)


So, to recap, here's your shindig:


5pm- doors open

5:15pm- the games begin

6pm- Sean Faust takes the stage (sale of Blue Sun cards ends)

6:30pm- games close (no new players)

6:45(ish)- "Hero of Canton" sing-along

7pm- Big Damn Movie

9(ish)- Raffle drawings


No more waitin'. We aim to misbehave!


See you Saturday. Until then...


Keep flyin',




2 Days Until CSTS Pittsburgh: Let's Talk Games and Prizes

Posted by Chris on July 28, 2016 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)



With just 2 days to do until our big damn shindig at the Hollywood Theater, I conjure it's time to focus on the shiny prizes you'll be able to win and how you can go about winning them.


First of all, we'll have plenty of gaming action at CSTS Pittsburgh again this year, with the return of some old favorites and a new and improved grenade toss (yep, we brought 'em). Here's the line-up:


Badger's Dodgy Dice

Zoe's Shooting Gallery

Jayne's Grenade Throw

River's Mind-Readin' Genius Trivia

Wash's Leaf on the Wind


We'll be using Blue Sun credit cards for the games again this year, so you just purchase them in the lobby and don't have to worry about the exchange of cashy money while you're gaming. You'll be able to win tickets for our raffles at the games (or just purchase them in the lobby), but there are lots of other prizes too, including:


- Tickets for the PA Rebellion, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Steel City Roller Derby, Washington Wild Things and Wheeling Nailers.

- Movie passes for Carmike 6 Galleria, Carmike 10 South Hills Village, Phoenix Chartiers Valley Stadium 18 and the Hollywood Theater.

- Pirates and Steelers merchandise.

- All manner of comics, books and graphic novels.

- Buffy the Vampire Slayer items including a signed photo from Clare Kramer (Glory).

- Firefly Monopoly and Fluxx games.

- Action figures from Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

- Custom Firefly, Serenity, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog pillows.

- Firefly/Serenity acrylic neon signs.

- All manner of "plushies."

- All manner of buttons, prints, Christmas ornaments, CD's, t-shirts, coffee mugs, gift cards, tote bags, etc.

- Special Kaylee- and Jayne-themed items.

- A custom metal print by Pittsburgh photographer Dave DiCello.

- A pet basket courtesy of Burton's Total Pet.

And still more shiny loot... we still have a few surprises you'll just have to be there to see.

Do we have your attention yet? Good.


Then we'll see you in a couple days at the Hollywood Theater. And remember, if you need any information, you can find it here. Also, for previews of some of our prizes, check out our Twitter and Facebook pages. You'll find links to them on the homepage of this site.


Next time, I'll talk about the pre-movie entertainment, including Browncoat singer-songwriter Sean Faust, who'll be back with an all new show this year.


Until then, keep flyin',



CSTS Pittsburgh 2016 Update: 5 Days Until the Big Damn Shindig

Posted by Chris on July 26, 2016 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Our 11th annual CSTS Pittsburgh shindig at the Hollywood Theater is just days away! I'll be checkin' in from time to time this week to let you know some things you ought to know if you're planning to misbehave with us this weekend, as well as to tease some of the shinier aspects of the event.


First of all, let's talk about transport. Some of you may know that Potomac Avenue (the street where you'll find the Hollywood Theater) has been under construction for some time, and if you drive by there during the week, you'll find there's no access. I've been assured that on the weekends they do open the street to traffic though, and I have it on good authority that on a Saturday evening we'll all have vehicular access to the Hollywood.


As for parking, the construction will no doubt affect the available parking on the street, but there is a pay-to-park lot on West Liberty Avenue near the intersection with Potomac, and if you'd rather not deal with meters, the fine folk at North Way Christian Community Church have once again very generously allowed us the use of their parking lot (almost directly across from the Hollywood) for the evening.


So everything's shiny, not to fret.


What about food, you ask? Well, keep in mind that the Hollywood only sells standard movie concessions, so if you are a firm believer that man cannot live on popcorn alone, you may want to grab something to eat before the event. There are all manner of restaurants on Potomac Avenue-- pizza, gyros, you name it-- and there's an Eat N Park on West Liberty within walking distance of the theater too. The crew and I plan to grab a bite at Fredo's Deli right next door to the Hollywood before we get to work. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Not only have they generously opened their back room to us for CSTS events in the past, but their food is simply delicious. I had a Ranchero steak hoagie there last week that I'd arm-wrestle a Reaver for! Think Kaylee biting into that strawberry. Yeah, that good! But why take my word for it. Stop in and see for yourself.


Now, for them as might want to imbibe some of the best of beverages that make you blind at this year's CSTS Pittsburgh event, here is the Hollywood Theater's alcohol policy:

1. It's all BYOB.

2. Only beer and wine are permitted.

3. No alcohol is permitted in the balcony of the theater.

And here are some reminders from CSTS Pittsburgh:

1. In this corner of the 'verse, you still have to be 21 to drink, so don't bring or drink any alcohol if you're not at least 21 years old, and if you are 21, don't provide any to anyone who's not. If you do and you get pinched by the "purple bellies," we will not come to your aid. Dong ma?

2. "When you can't run you crawl, and when you can't do that, you find someone to carry you." We Browncoats look out for one another, and that means if that quote from "The Message" starts to apply to you because you've had a bit too much of the "stupid fluid," we will not let you leave the Hollywood even if it means we have to get one of our "public relations" boys to take your keys while we call you a cab. So don't give us any trouble, or we might just have to explain to you what the chain of command is (politely--- for your own good, of course).

3. We want to maintain a good partnership with the Hollywood Theater, so if you bring in any bottles or cans, please dispose of them properly when you've emptied them.


That's it for now. Look for more updates coming soon, including a preview of some of the games you can play and prizes you can win as well as a few words about this year's live performance by Sean Faust.


Until then, keep flyin'.


--- Chris