By: Paul Martino
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Closing Thompson Run Road between Babcock and Vilsack will cause a lot of traffic problems this Thursday but there is an upside to the closure.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 142 New Cases, No Additional Deaths
The closure will take place at noon and last until 11:59 p.m.
Neighbors in the community may get a glimpse of Jeff Daniels who is in town to film the Showtime series “Rust.”
It also means Pittsburgh’s film industry is up and running again following a long hiatus from COVID-19.
Pittsburgh’s Film Office says it’s big business and they’re hoping the state will increase its film tax credit.
“We’ve been averaging over $100 million per year, every year, in southwestern Pennsylvania,” said Dawn Keezer of the Pittsburgh Film Office. “Putting people well over 5,000 people to work, there’s 18,000 statewide that work in this industry and for the most part, they utilize small businesses.”
However, residents are only now learning about Thursday’s shut down and they’re concerned.
“There’s only a one-way street where I live, there’s no outlet, there’s only one entrance and exit,” one resident said.
“It’s a pretty busy street, a lot of traffic here at Vilsack during rush hour,” another added.
However, when they learn that Jeff Daniels’ new series will be shot here, they seem OK with it.READ MORE: City Releases Farmers Market Schedule For Spring, Summer And Fall
“The Dumb & Dumber series was one of my favorites, I’m sure most people would agree,” the first man added.
For the Pittsburgh Film Office, it means that business is picking up.
“We had three television series all shooting simultaneously,” Keezer said. “We have one shooting right now and we expect a lot of work this year. There’s a lot of pent-up demand for content now that people have been home for a year.”
Pittsburgh has long been known as Hollywood East, beginning with “The Perils of Pauline” which was shot here more than 100 years ago.
However, Pittsburgh was put on the map as a moving-making location when “Night of the Living Dead” was filmed here in 1967.
That brought hits such as “Silence of the Lambs” in 1990 and then Pittsburgh became Gotham in 2021 when “The Dark Knight Rises” was filmed here.
This is why Keezer is hoping for the tax credit to be increased.
“Right now, [production companies] are spending an awful lot of time in the state of Georgia, which has a 30%, uncapped tax credit,” she said.
Currently, Pennsylvania’s film tax credit is capped at $70 million.
There’s a bill in the state senate that would raise the cap to $125 million.MORE NEWS: Sinkhole Shuts Down Busy Bellevue Intersection, Crews Working On Repairs
Meanwhile, the producers of “Rust” say they will allow residents to have access to their homes during Thursday’s shoot.