Dear Harris Theater, welcome back to the silver screen

Colleen Hammond | editor-in-chief

Sept. 23, 2021

After shutting its doors for nearly a year and a half, the Harris Theater is finally welcoming movie-goers back to the silver screen starting Sept. 23. 

Originally opened in 1905, the Harris Theater has been a long-time staple in the Pittsburgh cinema scene. While it held a brief stint as a pornographic movie theater in the 1960s, it was eventually converted into an “art cinema” house, frequently featuring indie and off-beat films many deemed too artistic for the mainstream. Currently, the space is owned and operated by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. 

“​​The definitive cinema of choice for filmmakers and film lovers alike, the historic Harris Theater is an intimate, single-screen theater dedicated to the art of independent film,” said Rebecca Hansborough, digital engagement and communications manager for the Cultural Trust. 

In line with the rest of the Cultural Trust, the Harris Theater is just one of several venues across the city ready to welcome back guests. 

To kick off their re-opening, the Harris will be hosting screenings of the new musical film Dear Evan Hansen from Sept. 23 through Oct. 14. There will be one showing at 8 p.m. every Monday through Thursday, as well as two shows at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. every Friday through Sunday. 

“Dear Evan Hansen is the breathtaking, generation-defining Broadway phenomenon that now becomes a soaring cinematic event as Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Ben Platt reprises his role as an anxious, isolated high schooler aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social-media age,” Hansborough said. 

The Harris will be abiding by the Cultural Trust’s Covid-19 protocols and guidelines. 

As such, “All individuals entering a Cultural District venue must be vaccinated with exceptions for children under the age of 12 and people with a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination. Guests who fall into one of these exception categories must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time, or a negative Covid-19 antigen test taken within 24 hours of the performance start time,” the Cultural Trust’s official guidelines state.  

In addition, guests will be required to wear masks throughout their visit — with the exception of when they are eating. 

Concessions are available, and the theater now operates as a BYOB venue, according to Hansborough. 

Tickets are available on the Cultural Trust’s website for $11 per person. 

“We are excited for the return of programming at the Harris and for our patrons to see the exciting renovations we have made to the historic space,” said Joseph Morrison, Harris Theater venue manager. “What better way to welcome back theater goers than with this film!”