PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A big crowd of onlookers gathered in Oakland today in hopes of catching a glimpse of Batman in action as filming continues for “The Dark Knight Rises.”

This morning, the superhero was spotted preparing for a huge fight scene on the steps of Mellon Institute. It’s a brawl many Pittsburghers won’t soon forget.

“It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Aisha Dennehy, who works at Pitt.

Onlookers caught a glimpse of director Christopher Nolan and some took pictures.

The scene that was being filmed today takes place in winter. So, snow was precisely placed on columns and flurries were flying around while hundreds of extras battled on the steps.

“All of this actually being here, it’s interesting to see how it’s done,” said Zack Butovich, who works in Oakland.

Among all the activity, the fire department also joined the scene. They were posted there as a precaution because of the expected explosions on set.

Pyrotechnics, gun shots and explosions are anticipated during the two-day shoot.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” said Zach Cline who drove over from Hartsville, Ohio with a friend just to see a bit of the Dark Night action. “Batman has been my hero since I was two and I just want to see anything I can.”

Even with Fifth Avenue closed, causing some traffic problems, some are looking past it if only to get a glimpse of the Dark Knight.

“It makes my commute longer, but I’ve loved Batman since I was little,” said Butovich. “It’s really fun.”

“I can’t wait to see the finished product,” added Dennehy. “Knowing where everything is being filmed, I’m really looking forward to seeing it next summer.”

Fifth Avenue is closed between Craig Street and Bellefield Avenue until 9 p.m. Thursday while the filming continues.

Rain moved through during filming, which forced Batman to take cover. Throughout the drizzle between scenes, a crew member was holding an umbrella over Batman to keep the suit dry.

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Heather Abraham