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A Steel City Celebration of Star Trek

on Sun, 07/17/2016 - 00:00

On September 8, 1966, Star Trek debuted on NBC. The series struggled from a ratings standpoint from the start, but managed to remain on the air for three years and 79 episodes nonetheless. Fifty years later—as well as four additional television series and thirteen films—the Star Trek franchise is stronger than ever, encompassing millions of fans both across the nation and around the world.

That, of course, includes Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and on Friday, September 9, 2016, the Steel City will celebrate Fifty Years of Star Trek with a special screening of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont. Sponsored by Geek Pittsburgh, the evening promises to be a memorable one, with members of local fangroups the USS Inferno and Klingon Assault Group in attendance, DJ Zombo, a costume contest and even a pop-up art gallery. Tickets are available online for $10, with all proceeds benefiting the Hollywood Theater and the ToonSeum, Pittsburgh’s premier museum of the cartoon and comic arts.

The Wrath of Khan only marks the beginning of Pittsburgh honoring the exploits of the USS Enterprise, however, as the ToonSeum will premier it’s To Boldly Go: The Graphic Art of Star Trek exhibit on October 28, 2016. Featuring original artwork from the full gambit of Star Trek comic books published by DC, Marvel and IDW that stretches back to the 1960s, To Boldly Go offers to be a unique and fitting tribute to Fifty Years of Star Trek in and of itself.

Star Wars Night at PNC Park

on Sun, 07/24/2016 - 13:04

To call Star Wars a cultural phenomenon is a vast understatement. For millions of fans around the world, Star Wars IS culture. The saga that George Lucas created back in 1977 serves not just as entertainment but a narrative that has struck a chord and serves as an inspiration arguably more than any other epic in history. The reach of Star Wars likewise extends further than the big screen, continuing on the small screen, in art, comic books and novels. Like the force itself, Star Wars truly is everywhere.

And that includes major league baseball parks. What originally began as a minor league promotional night was quickly called up to the majors until no baseball season in any MLB city is complete without a Star Wars Night at their home stadium. Pittsburgh was not the first locale to embrace the merging of these two popular American pastimes, but is set to make it two years in a row with Star Wars Night at PNC Park on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. And yes, in addition to Stormtroopers and Jedis, the Pirates will be taking on the Seattle Mariners in an actual baseball game.

The best part of Star Wars Night at PNC Park is that fans don’t even need a ticket to the event to enjoy the festivities, as Federal Street will be blocked off next to the stadium for Star Wars aficionados to not only congregate beforehand but participate in the costume contest as well. Last year, over 80 fans participated, taking the makeshift stage, showing off their outfits to the crowd and being judged by a panel of Jedi Knights, all of whom are members of local Star Wars fan clubs. This year will be no different—if not bigger and better than the previous affair—as local residents use both the Force and their imagination to craft costume that not only honor Star Wars but the Steel City itself.