Airport to the Stars?

As Pittsburgh is named a top moviemaker city, PIT remains ready for its closeup

By Jeff Martinelli

Published February 5, 2019

Read Time: 2 mins


Another week, another list. This week, Pittsburgh was ranked No. 4 on The Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker by MovieMaker.

That should be no surprise. After all, Pittsburgh was the home of the first successful permanent theater, “The Nickelodeon,” which opened in 1905.

Over the years there have been quite a few movies shot in Pittsburgh, starting with “The Perils of Pauline,” which was released in 1914 and featured Milton Berle in a small role. And the area is still making cinematic news: Tom Hanks was spotted around town this past summer filming “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” the story of a journalist’s friendship with Pittsburgh icon Fred Rogers.

And so with this new list, and the Academy Awards approaching fast, we thought we’d highlight some of the movies that feature Pittsburgh International Airport. Maybe, someday, PIT will get an Oscar for itself. “And now, for the Best Supporting Actor, with 100 or more departures a day, the Oscar goes to…”

Dogma (1999). The airport makes one of its early film appearances in this controversial Kevin Smith flick that featured Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Chris Rock, Janeane Garofalo and Linda Fiorentino. Look for internal shots of the airport early on.

Wonder Boys (2000). Based on the book written by Pitt alum Michael Chabon, the airport got some screen time in the feature-film edition. In addition to Monessen’s own Frances McDormand, the movie stars Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire. One other quick fact: Bob Dylan won an Oscar for his song “Things Have Changed.”

She’s Out of My League (2010). With all due respect to Jay Baruchel and Alice Eve, PIT really had the lead role in this Rom-Com about a TSA employee who falls in love with a frequent flyer. Considering the plotline, it’s no wonder the airport had a huge role. Familiar scenes at checkpoints, concourses and some concourses that were even redone for the film. But it wasn’t just the interior of the airport that stole the show – filmmakers were also able to use the 911th Airlift’s Wings over Pittsburgh airshow in the movie as well.

The Fault in Our Stars (2014). This popular tearjerker based on John Green’s book was a critically acclaimed hit. The airport had a small role, arguably only a cameo. Be careful not to miss it through your red eyes.

Love the Coopers (2015). The end of Concourse A was a star among stars in this comedy featuring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei and many others. But it was the glamour of Olivia Wilde that stole the airport scenes.

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