BRADDOCK (KDKA) – The Carrie furnace is roaring again, but this time, it’s a movie.
The rusted reminder of Pittsburgh’s steel heritage is the backdrop for a fight scene in a film called “Out of the Furnace.”
“These are Carrie furnaces numbers six and seven that operated from 1907 to 1978,” Ron Baraff said.
He is museum director for the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area. The non-profit, which conducts tours of the old iron plant, is leasing the area to the visitors from Hollywood.
“It’s been kind of hectic, at times. It’s a lot of folks on the site,” he said, “But the main thing is they’ve been really, really, really respectful of what this site is.”
Producer Michael Ireland is a self-proclaimed history buff.
“What’s remarkable about this place is that this is just a small footprint of what used to be here,” he said. “The fact that it used to be so much more expansive and stretched all the way to the trestle bridge where we also shot is just amazing.”
Unlike many other films, in which this region masqueraded as someplace else, in this case, what you see is what you get.
In his quest for authenticity, director Scott Cooper even shot scenes at Hidy’s Cafe in Braddock. He also wrote the script. He was captivated by this region during a previous movie shoot.
The film provides lobs for local freelancers, Rivers of Steel gets funding for Carrie furnace upgrades, and Pittsburgh is portrayed as Pittsburgh. It’s a win-win-win.
“A good movie promoting this region making this region look good and feel good and be presented as itself – you can’t ask for anything more,” Baraff said.