More Cubanomics for Pittsburgh

Earlier this year, Mt. Lebanon native, dot-com billionaire, Dallas Mavericks owner, and emerging digital entertainment mogul Mark Cuban lit into Hollywood for its refusal to allow most movie theatres to show Cuban's co-produced film "Bubble." The problem? Not only is Cuban a Hollywood outsider, but the film, which was directed by Steven Soderbergh, was released to DVD at the same time as it was released for theatrical distribution.

Meanwhile, here in Pittsburgh, the Denis theater in Mt. Lebanon closed a year-and-a-half ago and has been sitting dark and silent on Washington Road. All around it, the Mt. Lebanon business district has undergone a steady food-and-drink based revival. Bringing the Denis back on line would be a perfect complement to the existing business zone.

There's a wistful line that pops up around Pittsburgh this time of year that wonders why Mark Cuban doesn't buy the Pittsburgh Pirates. That, I think, is a fantasy that will never come true.

But if anyone has Mark Cuban's ear, please pass along this thought: Why not buy the Denis? Build your own theatrical distribution network, starting in your home town, and use it to break Hollywood's grip on filmmaking and film distribution. Talk about putting Pittsburgh on the entertainment map. How about it? Make the owner of the Denis an offer he can't refuse.


3 Responses to "More Cubanomics for Pittsburgh"

Amos_thePokerCat said... 3/26/2006 10:33 PM

He does own a theater chain. The which are in 21 cities, PIT not being one of them. Landmark has some amazing art deco properties, the Mayan Theatre in Denver is most noteworthy. They do own generic suburban boxes too. So, the Denis would fit that bill.

There used to be a popular great big art deco theater in Homestead during the 30s and 40s. Not sure when it closed. It was reopened for just a couple of months in the late 70's. Amazingly, it was mostly in one piece with all the details, and original configuration. Now, it is probably long trashed, and chopped up into little offices. Now there is a big theater back in Homestead. Cue the Lion King circle of life muse-ack.

King's Court Theater anyone?

Actually, Cuban through 2929, has gotten alot of more commerical stuff released, and widely released. , and did prety good.

Have you seen
? It is mind numbingly DULL! All the actors are no actors but real people from some small town in Ohio. I think it got a small release becuase of the lack of interest in the film. I doubt there are any DVD sales to speak of.

I think the NYT got one right,
Mark Cuban Is Missing the Big Picture. Movie going is on a long term downhill curve. All his chest beating to get people into his digitial theaters is spitting in the wind. The new upgraded digitial theater is my living room.

... from the peak in 1948; today, on a per capita basis, we go to the movies only one-sixth as often as we did then.

Mike Madison said... 3/27/2006 6:42 AM

Excellent comment, Amos, and thanks for the links. Whether Mark Cuban has it wrong (the NYT story) depends on the credibility of the "movies have to be seen in theaters" mentality that the industry is obsessed with. At my other blog, I've posted a number of items about that mentality. See posts here and here and here.

RJE said... 3/27/2006 10:00 AM

In addition to the Landmark theaters chain, he owns Magnolia Entertainment.

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