I was recently in Pittsburgh, US and visited Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts the home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra was touring in Europe at that time and I didn’t get to see them perform, but I was shown around the magnificent building by the lovely Sarah who works for them.

The building was constructed in 1927 and served as Pittsburgh’s ‘Temple of the Cinema’ (The Penn Theatre) for almost 40 years. The Penn Theatre closed down in 1964 and the plans were for it to be demolished and become a parking lot. Pittsburgh Symphony at that time was looking for a new home and $10 million later, on September 10, 1971 the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts was opened.

Pittsburgh Symphony made quite an impact on the BBC Proms 2011 and would be nice to hear them perform at their home.

Here’s the image from 1926 which Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts (link opens their facebook page) has kindly let me use for this blog:

Loews Penn Theatre 1926

Loews Penn Theatre 1926


Heinz Hall today. Image by Enviziondotnet

Superstorm Sandy

On the day of my visit, Pittsburgh was being lashed by heavy rain as a result of the Sandy storm which was whipping the East Coast, but the hall itself was warm and cosy. As soon as you enter the building you are in a grand hall with marble, gold leaf and massive chandeliers.

The British show STOMP was performing during this week in Heinz Hall and it was great to visit the hall as they were rehearsing.

The Mozart Room

Sarah pointed out the main features of the building and the Mozart room was particularly beautiful. My initial thought was that the Mozart room was a chamber music room designed for intimate concerts, but it actually was a very elegant dining room also used for weddings and meetings.

Heinz Hall

The hall had other bars and lounges and the Garden Plaza was perfect for a summer visit to the hall. I hope my next visit to Heinz Hall will be for a performance!