Best Ways to Bring Middle Earth to Pittsburgh

December 10, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros. Pictures)

(credit: Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros. Pictures)

(credit: Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros. Pictures)

“The Hobbit,” a prequel to Peter Jackson’s award-winning “Lord of the Rings” movies, comes out Dec. 14. Pittsburgh is a little behind in the event arena, so take initiative and bring Middle-earth to this beloved city. These are the best ways to celebrate all things Tolkien in your area.

(photo credit:

(photo credit:

Cinemark 18
Galleria At Pittsburgh Mills

590 Pittsburgh Mills Circle
Tarentum, PA 15084
(724) 904-9000

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” opens Dec. 14 and will be available in 3D with the subsequent sequels released in 2013 and 2014. There is certainly no better way to kick off your LOTR journey than by hitting up The Mills Cinemark theater. Grab your pals and tuck in for the night in luxury: This newly remodeled, modern theater has stadium risers, brand new seating and clean facilities. Movie prices are slightly lower than other theaters in the area, and this Cinemark has a larger array of food items to choose from. Advance ticket purchase through Fandango are recommended, as this movie is highly anticipated, and expect to line up early for the premiere.

Related: Literature

Paper Mart Party store
4071 William Penn Highway
Monroeville, PA 15146
(412) 373-8750

Paper Mart has everything you need to host a Hobbit-themed costume party. Gather up your best troll buddies and have a “Lord of the Rings” bash, complete with swords, sheaths and axes. Make Gandalf punch and Gollum snacks to complete the atmosphere as one of the films rolls in the background. Bonus: a “precious” ring can be used as admission to your party, or attendees may play games to determine who the real Lord of the Rings is.

South Side
Between 8th and 15th on East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Hit Pittsburgh’s legendary South Side for a LOTR-inspired bar crawl. Make it extra challenging by adding a scavenger-hunt element or challenge one another to stay in character for the duration of the night. Start at Brewskies on 8th Street and work your way down to Jack’s on 15th, or even to Station Square, if you dare to drink that far. Make sure to call ahead to accommodate large parties in the smaller bars like Tiki and Casey’s, and to request drink specials for anyone in costume.

Caliban Book Shop
410 S. Craig St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 681-9111

Call Pittsburgh’s favorite used book store to schedule a Tolkien read along. Everyone can bring refreshments and take turns reading excerpts from “The Hobbit.” Caliban often arranges these types of gatherings for its die-hard literature fans, but asks for large turnouts to hold the event, so make sure to get as many possible friends in attendance. Elf ears are always welcome.

Crazy Mocha
Southside Works
2809 E. Carson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15108
(412) 431-1326

Meet up with all of your creative cronies for a coffee-fueled story-writing session. Make up alternate endings for the “Lord of the Rings,” or send your favorite character into a world of its own. Share your creations and inspire one another to continue your pieces into next year’s National Novel Writing Month. Tons of fan fiction contests exist, so try your hand at submitting to one. Major plus: Crazy Mocha has a great customer loyalty program: Enjoy a few free cuppas on the house this month as you toil away on your project.

Related: Pittsburgh Holiday Theater Preview

Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at

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