Are you new to the Pittsburgh area, or a native looking for a new form of entertainment? The Downtown area is home to the Cultural District, a 14-square block collection of theaters and galleries. These are all run by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, an organization founded in 1984 by Jack Heinz. Commissioned in 1989, this area of town offers many options in for theater lovers.
The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts
719 Liberty Avenue
The Benedum Center serves as one of the venues for PNC’s Broadway Across America, a series of touring Broadway shows. The Benedum, which was originally the Stanley Theater, contains nearly 2900 seats. Originally built in 1927, it was given its current name in 1987 . It also features plays, operas, tributes, and ballets.
600 Penn Avenue
Opened in 1971, Heinz Hall is the home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, or PSO. Traditionally a concert hall, it also hosts comedians, contemporary artists, tributes, and dance shows.
The Byham Theater
101 Sixth Street
Originally the Gayety Theater, the Byham was opened in 1904 as a stage and vaudeville house. It received the name of Byham Theater in 1995 after a series of renovations. The Byham frequently is the venue for concerts, musicals, and plays.
The O’Reilly Theater
621 Penn Avenue
The O’Reilly Theater is the Cultural District’s newest theater, opened in 1999. It is the home of the Pittsburgh Public Theater. This 650-seat theater is the only place in the city to feature a thrust stage, which is surrounded on three sides by the audience.
Cabaret at Theater Square
655 Penn Avenue
This intimate, 230-seat space was opened in 2004, and is the newest performance venue within the Cultural District. The Cabaret presents theater-goers with both table and traditional theater seating. Along with musicals, the Cabaret also features late-night entertainment, including improv, salsa dancing, and comedy shows. The Backstage Bar is located in the Cabaret as well. Ticket holders have the option of arriving up to 90 minutes before a show to enjoy food and drink service.
809 Liberty Avenue
The Harris Theater is Downtown’s home of Pittsburgh Filmmakers. It was opened in 1995 in honor of John P. Harris. The theater seats nearly 200 people, so it serves as an intimate setting. The Harris typically shows independent and international films, but the space can also house lectures and recitals.
Wood Street Galleries
Above the Wood Street and Sixth Avenue T-Station
The Cultural District also houses a number of art galleries. Many of these galleries feature exhibits that are free of charge to visitors. The Wood Street Galleries feature artists from many disciplines worldwide. The featured exhibits change every few months, making the Galleries a place to visit multiple times.
Recognizing a more local artist base, SPACE is a multi-discipline gallery whose mission is to reach the largest audience it can. The gallery also features exhibits that range in length anywhere from one night to multiple months.
707 & 709 Penn Galleries
Intersection of Seventh Street and Penn Avenue
The 707 & 709 Galleries are two galleries used for multiple disciplines. The two feature local and regional artists. Each gallery hosts different exhibits.