By: Paul Martino
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The closure of Thompson Run Road between Babcock and Vilsack will cause a lot of traffic problems this Thursday, but the closure has an advantage.
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Neighbors in the community can catch a glimpse of Jeff Daniels, who is in town filming Showtime’s Rust.
It also means that Pittsburgh’s film industry is back up and running after a long hiatus from COVID-19.
Pittsburgh’s film bureau says it’s big business and they hope the state will increase its tax credit on films.
“We made an average of over $ 100 million a year in southwest Pennsylvania each year,” said Dawn Keezer of the Pittsburgh Film Office. “When more than 5,000 people work, there are 18,000 nationwide who work in this industry, and for the most part they use small businesses.”
However, residents are only now learning of the Thursday closure and are concerned.
“There is only a one-way street in which I live, there is no socket, there is only one entrance and exit,” said one resident.
“It’s a pretty busy street, lots of traffic here in Vilsack during rush hour,” added another.
However, when they find out that Jeff Daniel’s new series is being shot here, they seem to be okay with it.
“The Dumb & Dumber series was one of my favorites, I’m sure most people would agree,” added the first man.
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For the Pittsburgh Film Office, this means business is picking up.
“We had three TV shows that were all shooting at the same time,” said Keezer. “We just have a shoot and expect a lot of work this year. There’s been a huge pent-up demand for content since people have been home for a year. “
Pittsburgh has long been known as Hollywood East, starting with The Perils of Pauline, which was filmed here more than 100 years ago.
Pittsburgh was put on the map as the location when “Night of the Living Dead” was filmed here in 1967.
That brought hits like “Silence of the Lambs” in 1990 and then Pittsburgh became Gotham in 2021 when “The Dark Knight Rises” was filmed here.
So Keezer is hoping for an increase in the tax credit.
“Right now, [production companies] spend a lot of time in the state of Georgia, which has a 30% tax credit with no cap, ”she said.
Currently, the Pennsylvania movie tax credit is capped at $ 70 million.
There is a bill in the Senate that would raise the cap to $ 125 million.
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Meanwhile, the producers of “Rust” say they will allow residents access to their homes during the filming on Thursday.